|Table of Contents|
Table of Contents
Memorial for Harold Stannard
Plantation Names in British Guiana
West Indian Family
As others see us
Glimpses of Kingston
Notes and Jottings
Letters to the Editor
MEMORIAL TO HAROLD STANDARD
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Published by the B.G. Writers' Association in conjunction with the D.F.P. Adver-
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Vol. 2, No. 6 ......
The Sands of Leguan ..
Star of Eve
Ode to Midnight
Green is the Colour of the
Memorial for Harold Stannard
. J. Alwyn Rodway
. Stanley Hamilcar White
.. Jas. W. Smith
. Horace L. Mitchell
. Frank Dalzell
. Wilson Harris
.. A. J. Seymour
Other Contributors include
Christopher Cox, Philip Sherlock, Lloyd
Searwar, Evan Drayton, Celeste Dolphin
and J. W. Smith
The Buccaneer Governor
Pretty Poll .. ..
Plantation Names in B.G.
The West Indian Family
Waramurie .. .
Towards Craftsmanship I.
The Poetry of Walter Mac A. Lawrence
B.G. Dramatic Society
The Countryside ..
As Others See Us
Glimpses of- Kingston .
Last Day ..
Notes and Jottings
The Union's Report for 1947 ..
Contributions and letters should be sent to the Editor "Kyk-Over-Al", 120,
Fourth Street, Georgetown, British Guiana. Business communications should be
addressed to J. E. Humphrey, Esq., Manager, D.F.P. Advertising Service, 4A Hope
Street, Georgetown, British Guiana. P.O. Box 267.
. Irma Pilgrim
. Jas. Rodway F.L.S.
. Clement R. Jarvis
. Celeste Dolphin
. H. Risely Tucker
.. F. Seal Coon
.. A. J. Seymour
. Rajkumari .
. Eric Roberts
. Joy W. Small
.. J. A. V. Bourne
. . . .. ..- -
1N one sense, the Memorial to Harold Stannard is a report on the work of an expert
in human relations and community growth. He was not an adviser to the Comptroller
for Development and Welfare, but the problem he studied on behalf of the British
Council in 1943, that of creating self-respect and social responsibility in unorganized
peoples, permeates the problems of Social Welfare, education, labour relations, economics,
and in diminishing degree perhaps all other problems of the West Indies.
As much as Wakefield or Hammond, he was an expert worker in his own field. This
is principally a people's posthumous report on his work, and perhaps the "spiritual
dynamic" that Simey considers necessary for our Caribbean nationhood stems from him.
This Memorial has its own architecture of gratitude mingled with grief and certainly
it is the visible sign of a grace of spirit that continues in the West Indies today.
Especially is Kykoveral grateful for the intimate memoir that J. F. has forwarded to
us, because its story gives an insight into the man whom later we knew, but all the
other writers have laid us under a special debt for their contributions.
For the remainder of this issue, an editor glances through the pages, only to greet new
names and to bid welcome to old ones, to record that the craftsmanship pieces were
specifically solicited and warmly to appreciate the generous gesture of the Combined
Cultural Committee which donated $50 towards the cost of this issue of Kykoveral.
-A. J. S.
Go song and greet her, my lady!
Coax kisses and smiles to her lips-
Sing, warble and croon to my lady
A love song, and whisper this.
That I worship, adore her my lady
As a votary kneels at his shrine
Oh! my Goddess my Casseopeia
Take my song and my heart, they are thine.
The orchids that bloom in the moonlight
In their pageant of glory rejoice
And call to the rose and the lily,
"She outshines us in beauty and poise."
Had I that ambrosial apple
I'd have ruthlessly scorned all the pleas
Of Pallas and proud Aphrodite
And elected my soul mate-Elise.
Somewhere I see the earth rise up,
And take its green,
Beyond the skyline to the clouds.
And people pass before me in the day,
My people with their thoughts.
Somewhere I know contentment while 1 sit,
And feel the sun about me in the shade,
And watch my people's shadows on .the rocks
As they parade.
Somewhere the wind is strong upon the grass,
And calling from the restless faraway,
And there I let the quiet hours pass,
And take the anguish of my yesterday.
On the Sands of Leguan
The sun sets on Leguan
As I lie listening to the clear brown waves
Washing-swishing-breaking in creamy foam
On the sands of Leguan!
An undulating foamy line
Creeps slowly up the shelving bank,
Curving around with grace to where
The thin long-limbed courida trees
Sway backward from the water's edge,
Waving gently, firmly rooted
On the sands of Leguan!
A cooling breeze blows on the river-
Sends water to meet sand.
The rippling river's coldly watching sentinels-
Tall courida trees-stand firm
As watery tentacles fan out to close them round:
For Essequibo's charging
On the sands of Leguan!
A mist beyond the trees dimly reveals distant islands.
Did not the sand before me show light brown?
Light brown one moment-darkened in the next-
Then silvered-dampened-overcome outright.
But sun set slowly
On the sands of Leguan!
The courida trees have joined the sea.
A little dark brown breadth is now
What was a light brown broad expanse.
The foamy line breaks not, but presses on-and conquers
As the sun sinks in the West.
Now, Essequibo reigns supreme
O'er the sands of Leguan!
J. ALWYN RODWAY
Ring your insistent summonses to men!
Stare with black mouth and white eyes from the wall!
Gather live words in your brown box and then
Transmute them into waves electrical-
You have heard all, heard all, the light, the serious:
Shop lists and invitations to the dance,
Lovers' sweet nothings, parents' words iniperious
Quarrels, brief triumphs over circumstance;
Have heard death-messages from tear washed faces
Have reproduced them all, each sigh, each snigger-
Annihilator of slow time and spaces-
Each voice's modulations warmth or vigour
Yours,neither sense nor soul, mere stuff and yet
This much your masters lack-you can forget.
STANLEY HAMILCAR WHITE
Star of Eve
Star of Eve, wandering companionless
Amidst the naked skiey blue, with pale
Regards you view the mountains, hills and vales
And fields at dusk. Deserted by the rest
Of Heaven's meteors, from out the west
You rise, while later on, by two's or three's
Or as the clustered milky way, all these
Will traverse o'er the heaven's azure breast.
All these-and you your twilight course must steer.
Star of Eve, sallow in your pensive brow,
And lonely in high Heaven's crowded heart,
You are like the soul of man, divinely fair,
That wanders o'er this sombre earth e'en now,
And yet of it does share no earthly part.
JAMES W. SMITH
I dance upon the brink of day
And try to keep the night away.
I stand between the dark and light,
And ere the sun dives out of sight
I borrow from his flaming rays
The splendour of a million days.
The rainbow in my hand I hold -
Vermilion, russet, orange, gold!
I strive to light the darkening sky;
The day, I say, it shall not die!
For who has seen the night so gay
He would not change it for the day?
And though I lose th'uneven fight
I fill the inky sky with light.
But countless eyes at night must play
Where only one had ruled the day!
From : An Ode to Midnight.
O, midnight hour, why must thy time be sad?
Art thou not like the other hours of night?
E'en though the day and all its hours had
The smile of sunbeams, thou too has thy light.
For every even when the sun declines
And takes its couch beyond the western world
The stars awake and Venus first doth glow
Why, darkened hour, must all joy be furled
Or sorrow show?
Hark! now I hear a wind's quick tongue outpour
A tale of grief into the listening leaves
No! 'tis not like a saddened lover's poor
And stammering voice while as he grieves
He speaks, and burdens every ear and heart.
No, it is like defiance againstt black fate
And it is like the spirit's mighty quest
Of Truth and Life which never shall abate
Or seek for rest.
Indeed, indeed I gave ear to the winds
And listened with the leaves unto the voice
But vain alas were all the stolen gains
And nought the sweet for though it spoke of joys
Its grief, my fears, its lament and my thoughts
Did both complain that joy flies with the life
When Death the fiend comes with cruel wrath.
Ah, midnight voice, thou tellest this earth's strife
The weary path!
HORACE L. MITCHELL
Wetness and water,
Water and water running,
Dampness in the air
And everywhere the raindrops dropping,
Dropping gems of liquid sunshine,
Crystal-clear and constant,
Dreamily, lazily dropping, letting themselves
Down upon the surfaces of earth,
Then hurrying on, running on,
Uniting to the perfect sameness
Of a muddy, little sea.
And the grasses greening
Greening greener than their pristine green,
Greening into greenest emerald,
Freshening into a fragrance
As coming from the breeze that Zephyr breathed
And wreathed into herbal happiness.
And the silence of the trees
Speaking soundfully in the patter of rain-drops
On the tree-tops and leaves' tops and house-tops,
And the silence of the birds sounding
In the sounds of water kissing water
And fusing at the contact.
And the world is wailing,
Wailing in the sounds of dropping rain,
Draining its harrowed heart of pain
By swift emission of its watery tears.
FRANK E. DALZELL
Ageless it is in time; clothed in immortality;
for it has seen the conqueror with all his power bereft of fear
come in his sailing boat and step upon the land.
The chanties of its slaves have hovered on its edge
ere they have taken wings and flown the broad Atlantic to the Motherland.
Unmarked graves have oft revealed the shameful story
of inhuman deeds performed by man upon his brother man.
Yes; ageless it is in time; packed to its boundary's edge with history.
But time moves on........
And cooling rhythmic winds which make the palm fronds dance against
will urge the tumbling waters further in to dash upon the shore.
But we shall not be here to revel in this ostentatious spread of passion.
For we to-day who walk upon the dust of yesterday
to-morrow will no better be than those mute stones;
commingled with the dust from which we came
will true become the sons and daughters of Guiana's land;
be clothed in ageless immortality when we are gone.
Green is the Colour of the World
in face of Present Being--Bubcr.
Green is the colour of the world
like grass growing in a clean river
seen so that the clean river
becomes dark-green and beautiful
like a hidden capacity beneath what is tangible
Changeable is the mirrored unseen world
in the dark beautiful water
Each possibility lingers hopefully until a cloud
condemns the impossible surmise
and the misery of worms and flies
eating holes into human flesh
is brushed aside
by blurred ripples and all things
lose identity. The waters
are colourless with this unusual pain
but they melt and mirror
the immaterial world again
in a new access of existentiality,
in God's concern to laugh or weep!
Rain-spattered and immense is the world
conjured out of many-sided visions
dripping like tears from the roof of a house
for a debt unpaid in imagination.
The owner torments himself
but bucks up to smile with a sneaking conviction
and yet is not fully redemeed from mockery!
Rejection and glory conspire
when he resolves to be free
A line is drawn
on the fringe of dense shadow that is fallen upon glass.
Colours are mute. The inverted
gaiety of a church window
beguiles the uneasy bastard
whose roots uptorn
seek a sombre and pathetic expiation of guilt in deciding the future!
Luminous. brow of man becomes
statue's subjection to traffic of wares in the market-place.
So we must gloom
like forms of doom
where the gloom of church windows
becomes a gaudy smile on a strumpet's face!
Here is no room to speculate
behind closed windows of doom.
But outside on the fringe of uncertainty we turn gropingly
And this is not a poem of borrowed glory.
It is only the isolated continuity deeply present,
the parting gesture of cruel rebuff, dispensed with
We walked with memorable companions in the street
but the last barrier of the empty individual was tragically erected
and in anguish we are constrained
A. J. SEYMOUR
Never the permanent sky
Spoke with so loud a tongue,
Never the angry sea
Struck at the dark sky's cheek,
But the marble blue's beyond
The curve of heaven's frown
And the little fish ride unshaken
Below where the sea is deep.
"Come unto Me", He said
"Why are you so cast down?
Why so depressed?
Your hope lies in my crown", He said,
"And your peace is my breast.
In my breast sleeps your peace".
Quiet in their ranks stood my peopled town
And all my restlessnesses ceased.
The Complete Humanist.
by J. F.
(Photo by kind pei mission
of the Daily Chronicle. Ltd.)
Born as he was in the heyday of Victorian prosperity, Harold Stannard looked back on the
last two decades of the nineteenth century in which he passed his formative years, as upon a
golden age. This was not because his parentswere in easy circumstances they were not,
though both his mother and his father had richrelatives.
His father, descended from a Jewish family whose roots went far back among the old com-
munities of Metz and Frankfort, was in business in Paris when the Franco-Prussian war and its
aftermath of disorder in France compelled him to seek his livelihood in England. He set up in
Birmingham as an export agent. His principle was to establish personal contact by frequent visits
to the Continent with one retailer in each of the principal towns of Europe if possible with the
best shop in town and supply that shop, and that shop only, with the best that Birmingham
could make in the way of table ware and other plated goods. Harold's mother came from an
old Anglo-Jewish family and, as was customary in those days, received her education not only in
England but in France and Germany as well. )ne of her sisters married a rich diamond merchant
and that section of the geneological tree wanders into a family associated with the British Consular
service for centuries one of these, W. A. Churchill, was British Consular General in the key city of
Stockholm throughout the 1914-1918 war.
Of this branch of the family, three sons fought in the 1939-45 war. All were awarded D.S.O.,
and one, killed in 1941, defending Malta with the R.A.F., after earning D.F.C. The other two served
in the army and won their M.C.'s, and their exploits in France and Italy respectively, read like pas-
sages from a romantic novel
Harold was thus born into a family more than usually cosmopolitan in outlook and with that
quick perception that was his all his life responded vigorously to the many stimuli that came his
way. Early visits with his parents to Paris, Leipsig, Berlin, and above all to the old bank house
of Offenbach, near Frankfort-on-Main- the bank had a romantic history, having been founded by
an ancestor in the eighteenth century who had started life as the coachman of the founder of the
House of Rothschild--gave him an insight into European affairs which then compensated for his
lack of book knowledge. and illuminated that knowledge when in due course he acquired it. His
precocity somewhat alarmed his parents and they tried their best to "keep him back". The in-
tended kindness turned out to be unintentional cruelty and the sensitive child fretted himself into
a fever. The wise old family doctor put his finger at once on the cause of the trouble and from
the day he said, with calculated indiscretion in the presence of the patient: "That child must go to
school", Harold began to mend.
In those days all English towns had numbers of small schools usually conducted with great effi-
ciency by elderly widows or maiden ladies in reduced circumstances. Very small children were
taken and at first taught good manners and respect for their elders until they were old enough to
absorb spelling and an English vocabulary, by learning long lists of words, and to absorb arith-
metic by reciting multiplication tables. It all sounds very old-fashioned now, and no doubt
there were some children who failed to respond to that treatment. Harold was not one of them
or perhaps he was fortunate in the school in which his mother chose for him. At any rate, he was
thoroughly happy under the tutelege of Mrs. Fleetwood and she seems to have had the gift of bring-
ing out the best in her young charges. One of Harold's exact contemporaries at the school who
impressed him then because of his early gift for mathematics, retired only last year from the pro-
fessorship of astro-physics at Cambridge. Harold declared that he never displayed a pronounced
gift in that direction and Mrs. Fleetwood, good teacher and admirable psychologist (almost before
the word had been coined) that she was, divined the bent of his mind and concentrated on language,
spoken and written. Harold's response was immediate. He welcomed the discipline of verse and
much of his childish writing is not without merit. At this time he began to celebrate the anni-
versary of his mother's birthday in verse and kept up the custom for many years.
In due course, -Latin and Greek were added to the curriculum and in his' eighth year, Mrs.
Fleetwood decided that the time had come to coach him for one of the coveted foundation scholarships
at the great school of the city, King Edward's High School, Birmingham.
Of course he was successful and from the time he entered King Edward's in 1891 to the end of his
last term at Oxford in 1907 the cost of his education was entirely lifted from the shoulders of his
parents. With characteristic modesty he maintained that this amazing succession of scholarships, prizes
and exhibitions came to him merely because he was a good examinee. He was; but this was
the outward and visible symbol of a well stored and orderly mind. From the very earliest years
he showed, as can be seen from his childish essays, piously preserved by his mother, a quite exceptional
capacity for bringing together all the revelant factors of a complicated problem, discarding irre-
levant details but seizing firmly those that were revelant, and presenting a clear and coherent
argument, deceptively smooth in texture but adamant as a piece of logical thought.
When Harold arrived at King Edward's School, Vardy, the headmaster was nearing the end of his
time. One of the great teachers of the Victorian era, the reputation of the school had risen under
his direction to unprecedented heights, and he impressed the sensitive child by his splendid and
dignified bearing as he read the school prayers in a beautifully modulated voice, full of reverence
and awe-inspiring in its majesty. In his day the curriculum of the school was heavily biassed in
the direction of classical learning and the humanities upon which Vardy's own scholarly reputation
rested. This was an atmosphere in which Harold's mind could flourish and flourish it did hero-
worship of his headmaster playing no small part. Early in his time at King Edward's School he
formed a deep and lasting friendship with David Arnott, of French descent though his parents had
long been domiciled in Birmingham. Arnott had already laid the foundations of a brilliant career
in the Indian Civil Service when he was killed serving with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment in
France in 1916. Harold kept his memory green to the end of his life and with that kindliness
which is so often the accompaniment of intellectual distinction, lavished affection and respect upon
David's parents until both died, in an effort, noble alike in its intensity and long continuance, to assu-
age their grievous loss of an only son.
Vardy retired before Harold left King Edwards and for him something was henceforth lacking in
the school. By that time, however, the foundations of his scholarship had been laid and, though the
emotional stimulus of Vardy's presence was removed the momentum generated by it carried Harold
on to the end of his school career. He literally encumbered himself with prizes, so that in his last
year at school, his name appears in the school calendar as captain of the school with no less
than four lines beneath it of closely-printed symbols each one of which denotes the winning of a
scholarship, a prize or an exhibition. It was thus not surprising that he entered Oxford with an open
scholarship at Christ Church at Michaelmas,, 1902.
Oxford in those days was entirely dominated by the University. It was a leisurely, sleepy little
town clustered round the dreaming spires of the colleges and a young man Morris kept the bicycles
of the members of the University in order in a workshop which nestled against the medieval town
wall. University Commissions had reported and reforms had been inaugurated, but substantially
the colleges rested proudly on their ancient traditions and of these Christ Church was perhaps the
oldest and proudest of all its foundress a Saxon Saint its chapel the Cathedral of the diocese, its
Dean no mere tutor as in lesser colleges but one of the foremost dignitaries of the Anglican Church.
Few could then foresee that this settled society, wherein if the Fellows "dull and deep potations"
no longer "excused the brisk intemperance of youth" was in many respects not very different from
Magdalen in Gibbon's day, would be disrupted by two world wars and the development 'of the
internal combustion engine, which brought new elements into university and town, and made the
ancient city into something resembling a suburb of the industrial undertaking which the genius of
Morris, now Lord Nuffield, built up.
By reason of his solid grounding in history and the classics and his cosmopolitan background,
Harold went to Christ Church more than usually well equipped to receive the best that the Oxford
of his time could give. He continued the academic distinction that had been his at school and after
passing with first class honours in Classical Moder nations read for an honours degree in Oxford's
greatest school (known colloquially as "Greats"), Literae Humaniores. He was one of the four mem-
bers of his college who passed in the first class in 1906. Staying up a fifth year to read for an
honours degree in history, he again passed in the first class. That Oxford chose to withhold her
greatest prize from him when it was almost within his grasp, a Fellowship of All Souls, was her loss
rather than his, though he was bitterly disappointed at the time. Had he been elected, there is
little doubt that he would have stayed at Oxford and added to her lustre as well as his own in the
sheltered academic life for which he was so supremely fitted by nature and training. It was not to
be; and he sought his fortune in a larger and rougher world.
The Oxford of the schools is but half the tale. The other, perhaps more important half resides
in the common rooms, the clubs and above all, in the Union Society. In these Harold was well
equipped to play a prominent part. The great speed with which he could absorb knowledge
allowed him plenty of spare time to cultivate the rich society of his fellows. His eminent conver-
sational gifts made him invariably the centre of any group he chose to join in Common Room or
Hall, he entertained largely in his rooms and was ever a welcome guest in the rooms of others.
Politics, which he saw as history in the making, was, because of his lively interest in history,
absorbingly interesting to him. The dominant figure of his Birmingham boyhood had been Joseph
Chamberlain after Vardy, Harold's greatest hero. Thus he had already learned to "think imperially"
long before he arrived in Oxford and he gravitated naturally to the ardent band of young Conserva-
tives who supported the programme of tariff reform. He was elected to the Canning Club, wrote
the history of the club which is still current, and was the club's honoured guest at its annual
dinner up to the year before he died. Few West Indian readers need to be reminded of his urbane
and persuasive manner on the rostrum. The hesitant beginning, the subtle feeling for the mood of
audience, the certain grasp with which he caught it and then the clear exposition of his case deliv-
ered in the terms his hearers found most sympathetic to their ears was a manifestation of the
great sympathy with his fellow men which was his all his life. His quickness of wit and his telling
phrase made him a formidable debater and many were the evenings when the mere rumour that
he was to speak was sufficient to fill to overflowing, the hall of the Union Society. Small wonder
that the late Lord Birkenhead, no mean judge of forensic ability, pressed him to read for the Bar.
He took the suggestion seriously enough to enrol himself as a student of the Inner Temple but
that was as far as he ever went, for his ambition lay elsewhere.
As a schoolboy, his ambition to write for the newspapers had been fired by his winning the
first prize in one of the literary competitions set by the Westminster Gazette, then a London evening
paper of very high literary standards. Thus when his time at Oxford was over, he applied to The
Times and was accepted for training in the autumn of 1907. The paper was then still functioning
with an 18th century constitution laid down in the Will of the founder, the terms of which were
largely dictated by his dislike of his son and successor. Litigation was rampant, changes were in
the air, and almost the whole burden of these worries was borne on the shoulders of the mana-
ger, C. F. Moberly Bell, who was tempermentally incapable of delegating authority. The possibility
of any satisfactory permanent engagement at that time seemed to Harold remote and when Sir George
Armstrong invited him to join the brilliant staff he had collected in the office of the Globe, a
Conservative evening paper of high standards that did not survive the 1914-18 war, Harold jumped at
the chance. The easy hours of an evening paper of those days allowed him plenty of spare time
to write for periodicals and even to help his friends by speaking in their election campaigns and he
was already making considerable reputation in both fields when war broke out in 1914.
Nobody then realized the disaster that had overtaken the world and for some months Harold
felt that he could best serve his country in the Foreign Office. As the struggle deepened, he
came to the conclusion that, however unmilitary his background and temperament, his place was
in the Army but herein he ran into a serious difficulty. English by birth, he was the son of a
naturalized Englishman with a German name and for long he was refused a commission. Friends
made representations in the highest quarters and eventually the queer decision was reached, whereby
a commission would be offered him if he changed his name. Reluctantly he did so and was duly
gazetted in the Hampshire Regiment. The Army wasted a few months and considerable effort in
a fruitless attempt to turn him into a soldier, and then acted with more than customary sense by
posting him to the counter espionage department of Military Intelligence. There his long and intim-
ate acquaintance with European affairs and his linguistic ability were of the greatest use. Yet he
chafed at what he considered his uselessness and tried several times to get himself posted to an
active service unit. Wisely he was retained by M.I. 5 against his wishes and in face of a series
of anonymous attacks in a weekly paper, then controlled by a certain Horatio Bottomley, who was
later sentenced to a term of penal servitude for fraud.
That war came to its inglorious end. Within a few months of its ending Harold had published
a monograph "The Fabric of Europe" which sought to correlate the new Europe with that, the creation
of the Congress of Vienna, which after a hundred years then lay shattered. His own world, too, was
shattered by David Arnott's death. He never really recovered from it and said pathetically but a
few weeks before he died: "David and I spent his last leave together. I never saw the last of
him because as the ship left the shore I was blinded by tears for I knew then that I should never see
him again." Deeply wounded, he refused all proffered awards and retired to Rome to bury
himself in historical studies. His life of Gambetta was published in 1921. Designed as the first of
a trilogy (the other two studies were to be Napoleon III and Thiers) to interpret the Third French
Republic, it is a fine example of his gift for bringing a great mass of material into manageable size
and form. Unfortunately, a hostile review led him to abandon the other two volumes. Thereupon
he submitted himself to the spell of Rome and published in 1923 "Rome and Her Monuments",
an attempt to communicate that spell, remarkable for its scholarly approach to the artistic problems
raised by Graeco-Roman architecture and sculpture, and instinct with the very essence of historical
thought. He collected material for a second volume but before he had reduced it to a publishable
form he re-entered London journalism and thereafter never found time to complete the work.
He began to write regularly for The Times and The Times Literary Supplement in 1925 and
from that year until the outbreak of war in 1939 reviewed every important book that appeared on
history, politics and classics. His reviews, exact, scholarly and urbane, inspired a series of letters
from grateful authors to the editor which must be unique in journalism. While engaged in this work
he re-entered politics as a member of a small economic research department set up within the
organization of the Conservative Party and began seriously to consider the possibility of standing
for Parliament. Unfortunately the one chance he could have seized, the crisis of 1931, came just
after he had been nearly killed in a motor accident and at the critical time he was lying on his back
in hospital. It was almost twelve months before' he recovered. Meanwhile, however, his presence
in the little market town where he lay in hospital began to be felt and long before he was able to
walk without assistance he had organized a debating society whose meetings each week achieved
a high standard. He returned to his work in London still with one leg in irons and helped to orga-
nize the little group of politicians who had followed Mr. Ramsay MacDonald in 1931. Eventually he
left them and joined the editorial staff of the Daily Telegraph where he worked for some years
when a change in the ownership of Truth gave him the opportunity of joining that paper.
Since 1933 he had been watching the European situation with growing concern a concern which
found ever more serious expression in his periodical reports to the Carnegie Foundation for Inter-
national Peace. The crisis of 1938 did not therefore find him unprepared even though he had spent
the winter of 1937-38 remote from Europe and engaged in studying a set of problems new to him,
the condition of the British West Indies. The enthusiastic reception given to the Munich Agree-
ment in England disgusted him and he broke off his connexion with Truth. Turning away from
Europe and its problems gave him the opportunity to concentrate on the enormous mass of work which
the publication earlier in the year of three articles on the West Indies in The Times the only time
his name ever appeared in this paper as the author of an article brought his way. Until the begin-
ning of the war in 1939 he was therefore extremely busy, serving on the Advisory Committee on
Education at the Colonial Office, at Chatham House, at the Fabian Research Bureau and broadcasting
mostly to the Empire. West Indian readers will not need to be told of the great work he then did
in bringing West Indian problems to the notice of a large and influential public in Great Britain,
and it was not surprising that in the end he should be invited to go out to prepare the ground for the
permanent missions that the British Council has now set up.
The outbreak of war delayed matters. Harold's knowledge of Europe and European affairs was
again placed at the disposal of the government and he served successively in the Foreign Relations
Press Service and in the Reconstruction Department of the War Cabinet Secretariat before he was
released to go on his long and arduous mission to the West Indies. On his return he joined the
editorial staff of The Times and jokingly remarked that he had had to wait nearly forty years before
Moberley Bell's polite letter offering him "the first vacancy" was implemented. Concurrently with
his work on The Times he was general editor of the series of Chatham House pamphlets entitled
"The World Today" and wrote some of them himself. In addition, he completed a comparative study
of the British and American Constitutions which will shortly be published simultaneously in Eng-
land and America.
He died in harness. His heart had been giving trouble for some years but he was temperamentally
incapable of taking things easily and finally he wore himself out before his time to the great grief
of all his friends.
MEMORIAL FOR HAROLD STANDARD.
A. J. SEYMOUR
Rome is the city that Harold Stannard loved, even more perhaps than his beloved London, and
all his earlier life, whenever he could, he went back under the Italian skies to walk her ways
and dream upon her monuments.
Of his feeling for London I know because I remember him halting our taxi on Westminster
Bridge, and I recall the zest in his voice as he pointed out to me the historic buildings in the
sweep of our view. But he has written down his dreams of Rome in a book, "Rome and her Monu-
ments", and in the opening pages he plays the lover with the view of the Eternal City from the
Pincio* thatNapoleon planned and did not find time to execute. And there is great feeling in
his account of the dreamy timeless quality that Rome wears on a late spring morning and the
limits of the wandering of the setting sun as the months of the year swing it out on a curve behind
Nor did that act of homage quite measure his feeling for Rome. If he could have chosen his
best century and his station in life from among all the exciting possibilities of the history of the
past, he would have liked, he said, to have been a Greek slave in the Roman Empire of the second
century A.D. and in Rome itself, because of the opportunities of leisure and culture that that
So it is with a certain aesthetic satisfaction that I realise how fittingly traditional it is that an
Englishman, nurtured in the classical Mediterranean tradition should transmit an impulse towards
the refinement of the spirit to the people living in the scattered group of islands in the Caribbean
and on its borders. It was the love of Rome and her tradition that helped him to quicken the in-
tellectual and spiritual development of a culture that is now coming to birth and Victorian England
links Rome and the West Indies. The wheel comes full circle when events like that occur and one
age. fertilizes another.
Once in a letter it was suggested to Mr. Stannard that whether he knew it or not, all his
life had been a preparation for the year he spent in the West Indies in 1943 as Cultural Adviser
to the British Council. He replied: "For many years everything I did was a conscious prepara-
tion for my entry into the House of Commons and I know that I shall never go there now. Perhaps
it was a preparation for my year's work in the British West Indies;....no preparation can be com-
pletely wasted. It can always be put to some sort of account"......
It was put to account. In his recent book "Welfare and Planning in the West Indies", Professor
T. S. Simey has referred to Stannard's article on the British West Indies (in the book "Fabian Col-
onial Essays") as being the best general introduction to the problems of the area.
I have my own idea on the topic of what fitted Stannard so well to know the West Indies, and
I shall tell you a story. I remember on his last Sunday in British Guiana in 1943 walking across from
the broadcasting station to Park Hotel and a young man in the group remarked that he must be
a distinguished person in London.
He stopped and exclaimed: "But I'm not. I'm merely a well-read man with a wide variety of
interests." There are dozens of persons here who still believe that Stannard was one of the finest
orators who ever came to British Guiana, there are many more who were amazed at his ability to
speak to diverse groups such as gardening clubs, science clubs, art clubs, literary and debating
societies, varied racial and religious organizations, and tell each assembly something valuable about
their specialty, but there are crowds and crowds of Guianese who were most impressed by his intel-
lectual honesty and the continuous outflow of feeling for individuals and groups that he considered
underprivileged. It was this broad basis of sympathy combined with a first-class mind and a gift
of phase that energised everything Harold Stannard said and wrote.
Once in London, walking through Russell Square and pointing out to me the 18th century
architecture, he happened to say that he thought himself a failure and that for his quality of mind,
he should have been at the top of the tree. Thinking that remark over, it has since occurred to me
that perhaps the most important event in his life took place the day that fine intellectual equip-
ment he possessed attached itself to the idea of the West Indies. Because here was a vision that
in one way or another demanded from him everything he had to give, here was a conception that
subsumed the history he had learnt and taught at Oxford, that took with flame the fine imagination
he had disciplined over years and that unified a host of abilities and talents that had grown piece-
Preparation can always be put to some sort of account he said. That is classic understate-
ment. From what one knows and hears, Stannard has made a great contribution to intellectual
life in the West Indies. His mission was to get in contact with the intellectually awake elements
in the colonies he visited and to give them encouragement. He carried his own wit and wide scholarly
interests as a torch and people would come afire in his company when they caught a glimpse of
his richly stored mind and felt the breadth of his innate sympathy. Not only did he encourage in-
dividuals to have faith in themselves and their goals but he put in touch with one another persons
in the Caribbean who shared similar interests.
So after his visit, and with his continuous interest stimulating it, there sprang up a network of
correspondence where a young writer in Jamaica would be speaking to other young writers in Barbados
or painters in Trinidad would reach hands to painters in Guiana. Visitors from one colony would
find that they shared with many residents in another a common admiration for a man named
Stannard and very often would be asked to contact the very people they should meet. So one may
think of a genial elderly man in London writing, writing letter after letter that cemented friendships-
among strangers in the Caribbean and made them aware of similar problems in their communities.
His knowledge of history must have told him that the West Indies were at an exciting period in
their development when young minds were growing in intellectual isolation and needed bringing
together. So he helped to thicken the strands of friendships. If in his phrase, the tides of history
are once again swirling around the West Indies, he has been part of the gravitational pulls.
There is another side to the story. He took care that visitors to England from the West Indies
were put in touch with those influences and individuals that would most help them to build their
society at home. It would mean personal notes to such and such a person to see young so and so
before he returns home, or young so and so would be. told "to telephone Mr. X, I've told him about
But he knew that timely though the personal contacts had been, and though like the god-in-
the-machine, he was helping to bring a people to birth, for the long plan ahead, there must be in
the West Indies itself a well-head of learning and intellectual integration, to do on a large and
permanent scale among the young, what he himself was doing fitfully among the not so young
who were intellectually awake. So he pinned his faith on the W.I. University. In a broadcast in
1947, he described his feeling when (I shall use his words) "in Jamaica, five years ago, I was invited
to attend a meeting of a little group of people who were fostering the University idea. It was a
very moving experience, their plans were so humble, their initial aspirations so limited. Yet I felt
as I listened that this was how Oxford had begun some nine hundred years before, that this was the
real thing, that the men I was meeting had realized the great truth that the pursuit of wisdom was
not to be undertaken in solitude, but was a social activity".
This was the real thing! The words kept echoing in the winds of so many of us listening in
August 1947 in the West Indies to Stannard broadcasting over the B.B.C. We heard the fine voice
with its careful articulations go on strongly through its message and come to the words,
"It is easy for us in England which is full of old buildings ranging from Cathedrals to cottages
to realise that the men of the past built for posterity and that it is for our generation to hand on
"But in the West Indies it falls to your generation to be the first consciously to build for pos-
terity, politically, educationally, socially. Yours is a hard task, but it is also a great privilege. Build
zealously, build with both heart and mind; build with courage and faith in the future, and you may
be sure that you will build enduringly."
We and he did not know it, that it was the last time Stannard would send a message to the
West Indies but many of us sat very still under the inspiration and responsibility he was placing
But he assisted us to translate that inspiration into action. It was at his direct suggestion that
the B.G. Union of Cultural Clubs came into being. He thought there should be some co-ordinating
agency to bring together the intellectual curiosity that was expressing itself in so many clubs in
British Guiana. And every year, at the Union's request, he sent an inspiring message to the Con-
vention of clubs.
When this magazine, Kyk-over-al, was born, he sent us an article for the first issue on the
rebuilding of Georgetown after the 1945 fire, and the second issue carried a most delightful frag-
ment of his autobiography which I commend to all makers of anthologies.
Of his personal kindness and generous references to me and my work, I have very many mem-
ories, and richest among them are those that be long to a week-end spent in Stannard's company
at his home, Frith End, Hampshire, in November, 1946.
In this feature we in the West Indies want to lay our gratitude and thanks before his memory.
In one of his last letters he affirmed his faith in Britain's ability to win through her difficulties and
he wrote "this little country with the big name isn't finished yet and you will feel the strength of
the new impulses even in your remote colony". So long as the little country produces men of the
Stannard breed, so long will that saying be true.
But here are some other friends in the West Indies and out, who have written about the man
they knew, whose friendship they valued and whose inspiration they own.
Extract from "The Times" December 8, 1947.
Having visited the West Indies in 1938 and published three articles in these columns calling
attention to the state of affairs there, he was sent in 1941 by the British Council to the West Indies
to prepare the ground for that body's permanent mission there. In the 12 months he was there he
visited every colony and worked up an enthusiasm for the British way of life-especially among the
coloured population which has certainly outlived him and has smoothed the path of more than
one of the numerous staff now maintained thereby the British Council. On his return to England
he joined the staff of The Times and at the same time resumed an old connexion with the Royal In-
stitute of International Affairs.
Though by no means devoid of achievement his life did not come up to its early promise. His
small stature and extreme modesty were certainly handicaps, but the chief explanation lay in the
strict morality which controlled his every thought and action. He could never bear to think that
any other human being, however humble, should suffer by any act of his, and he never accepted
any promotion without first searching his conscience and satisfying himself that he was not thereby
keeping out one more deserving and better qualified than himself.
Alwyn Parker -From "The Times" December 10, 1947.
Those who knew Harold Stannard's liberal outlook, his wide humanity and fairness, power
of epigram and irony, will share to the full your luminous estimate of his character and his re-
markable abilities. His prose style was terse, masculine, nervous, articulate, and clear, as his judg-
ment was broad, generous, humane and scrupulously candid. I first met him in 1911 at the Chatham
Dining Club, when he gave a fascinating address on the world-wide influence of the Jews as dis-
seminators of philosophical thought, and I well remember Eyre Crowe, who was also present, saying
with enthusiasm that we might have been listening to Averrhoes or Maimonides. Later, in 1920,
we had to appear jointly before an arbitral tribunal in Paris, and between the sittings he was ever
eager to spend his leisure at the Louvre. In my diary I recorded a remark he made: "In art
the French never worship an idol uncritically. Their respect for form and order has prevented them
from ever being carried away by a servile admiration of their borrowings." It has been written:
"Many will subscribe to a religious test, few lead a virtuous life." If ever an upright man led a
virtuous life it, was Harold Stannard.
E.R.P. From "The Times" December 12, 1947.
Harold Stannard has a particular claim on the memory of all old members of the Oxford Canning
Club, to which he showed a constant devotion. From the time he first came up to Oxford, his re-
markable epigramatic and discursive powers of conversation found a responsive audience in the
leisurely but critical atmosphere of their evening discussions, and he always retained a particular
fascination over the minds of young men on whom his depth of knowledge and polished phrase-
ology had a remarkably stimulating effect. While he was still an undergraduate he proved his
attachment to the Canning Club by writing its history; from 50 years of minute-books he deduced the
character, trends ahd eccentricities of this feature of Victorian Oxford. After leaving Oxford he
followed the chequered fortunes of the club with unusual interest, showing his confidence in each
rising generation by attending on every possible occasion, and his geniality made him always welcome
until he was missed at the annual dinner last summer through his ill-health. Who among those
privileged to hear the paper read recently at the thirteenth hundredth meeting will ever forget his
H. C. Beere-From "The Times" December 24, 1947.
I well remember the day in the autumn of 1915 when it was my duty as the then senior subaltern
in the mess to welcome Harold Stannard's rather unmilitary looking figure the day he joined the
regiment. Almost anyone else who looked so unsoldierly would have been the butt for subaltern
rags, but very quickly his frank acceptance of his parade ground limitations and our speedy recog-
nition of his amazing brain caused him to be on good terms with us all. The day when he and I
were packing to go on a course, marked a literary milestone in my life. He read to me a poem by
Browning, and then presented to me the volume which ever since has been a cherished possession.
In his personal relations he was a generous friend, a gracious host, and a considerate and thoughtful
employer. Nearly 20 years ago he became interested in a village society which was formed to study
and discuss the problems of the day. Because it was run by a friend of his, he gave generously of
time and trouble to make it the success it became; each winter he would come and lecture without
any thought of fee and feel himself well rewarded by the affection and respect with which he was
regarded by the members who flocked to hear him. His introduction to a lecture he gave on Fascist
Italy was the best thing of its kind I have ever heard.
Christopher Cox, Educational Adviser to the Secretary of State for the Colonies.
Harold Stannard, when I first met him at the Colonial Office early in 1940, was a member of the
Advisory Committee on Education in the Colonies, to which he had been appointed the previous year
shortly after the publication in The Times of three memorable articles on the West Indies as he had
seen them on his visit in 1938.
The Advisory Committee at full strength is large, and Stannard's modesty prevented him from
intervening often in its general discussions unless these had a direct bearing on territories that he
had himself visited, that is to say with the West Indies. But when the West Indian education policy
was under discussion, his contributions were invaluable not only in the main Committee but in the
many meetings of its West Indies Sub-Committee which took place in the early years of the war,
when report after report from Sir Frank Stockdale and Mr. Hammond on educational policy in
the West Indian Islands, British Guiana and British Honduras made their way to London. To the
Sub-Committee, on which he served with unfailing distinction and devotion, Stannard brought not
perhaps the equipment of the professional educator, but the richly stored mind of the cultured scholar,
the wide approach and the vivid articulation of the observant journalist, the sympathy and insight
of a sensitive student of humanity.i One of his colleagues on the Sub-Committee, now its Chairman,
Mr. Edward Burney, H.M.T., has written of him then in these words. 'Critical, alert, brimming
over with invaluable local knowledge and with highly relevant and often awkward facts, he was
precisely the sort of man that all such sub-committees need. He had much to say and it was all
worth listening to, and was in fact listened to all the more willingly because there was nothing acid
in his manner to sour the matter. On the contrary, when he disagreed he did so with a winning
smile, as much as to say "I think you're quite wrong, but I do not think you are either a scoundrel
or a fool; we both want to reach the best conclusion we can, and if you will listen to me we will reach
it."' Always on the Sub-Committee he sought both to strengthen true values in the formal edu-
cational system and to promote and foster all the elements of cultural growth in the West Indian
It was little wonder that, in spite of his fragile health, he should have eagerly accepted'the in-
vitation that came his way in 1942 to return to the West Indies for 12 months to help to chart the
field in which the British Council might play its part in the new chapter of West Indian history
that was then beginning to unfold. To him it was, as he said to me at the time, "a great opportunity";
he felt, I think, that it would give him the chance not only to renew and deepen old friendships
and to form new ones, but to play a direct part in the building of the West Indies by assisting, to
the best of his power, in the realisation of West Indian cultural aspirations and by interpreting the
thought and cultural life of the United Kingdom.
Of Stannard's work during the next two years others will have written who saw it at first hand.
He did not spare himself, but I know he believed it all to be infinitely worth while, and he re-
turned to responsible work on The Times in England with a rich score of live West Indian friendships
and a deep continuing interest in West Indian social, cultural and pohtical progress which, as occa-
sion offered, found distinctive expression in The Times' editorial columns. When we met from time
to time his talk was always of West Indians and of the West Indies. He followed with keep appre-
ciation the successive stages in the birth of the West Indies University College to which he had
always pinned his faith. In one of his last talks with me he spoke warmly of the abundance of
literary abilities and liveliness that he found in British Guiana.
When I last saw Stannard last summer, just before I left England for a visit to America, he
spoke gravely of a serious illness which had left him weak and shaky. But the sudden news of his
death a few months later came as a shock. I am glad to think that I was in Jamaica then, and
could see for myself what he had meant to people there, and hear, from one who had been in George-
town when the news came, of the deep and widespread grief which it caused in British Guiana. To
be so mourned by those for whom he cared so deeply would have been for Stannard sufficient
Philip Sherlock, Director of Extra Mural Studies to the W.I. University College.
Early in 1938, year of riots and violence throughout the West Indies, 1 met Harold Stannard.
Looking back, it seems a long time ago. I seem to have known him for much longer. He
was so active in mind, so stimulating, that I cannot think of him as dead.
A small group of us put on a programme of Jamaican folk-songs and dances in one of the halls
in Kingston. The Cudjoe Minstrels sang "Carry me ackee go a Linstead market" and "Hill and
gully rider"; Sam and Slim sang their ballads of today and led the John Canoe dance; Willy Ashman
told his Anansi stories with power and fine dramatic effect. Harold Stannard was in the audience. He
had arrived in Jamaica a day or two before, on his first visit to the West Indies It was charac-
teristic of the man that he should take an interest in our folk lore and it was even more characteristic
of him that he should have to see me the following day. Our friendship begun with that first meeting.
That first visit to the West Indies was a comparatively short one, but Harold Stannard was a
journalist, who saw much and perceived more. when he left Jamaica he was deeply concerned
with what he had seen, and even more, with what he had felt. I told him that his fears were ground-
less, but I was wrong. On the boat back to England he wrote three articles on the West Indies which
his paper refused to print unless they were toned down. Stannard said "Keep them for three months.
If there is no trouble in the West Indies within three months tear up the articles. If there is
trouble then print them as they are." Six weeks later the articles appeared in one of the greatest
of English newspapers. The riots had broken out in Barbados and Trinidad and in Jamaica.
There followed years of severe strain and trouble in Europe and in the West Indies. Flame
and fire encircled the earth. Hitler bestrode Europe like Colossus. But the West Indies were not
forgotten. The British Council turned its attention to these lands, and the Imperial Government
passed its Colonial Development and Welfare Act. Harold Stannard was one of the two men sent
out by the British Council to make a survey of conditions in the West Indies and to suggest the
lines along which the Council should work.
During the year in which he was doing his work Stannard paid his second visit to' the West
Indies; his last visit too. He spent some months in Jamaica. He worked hard, getting to know
our problems at first hand, talking with people of every rank in life, getting to grips with the
country. -He was never satisfied with second hand knowledge. Once, for instance, he was asked to
speak to the Citizens Association in one of the poorer suburbs of Kingston. He spent the two
hours before the lecture walking through some of the city streets, getting to know the place and
keeping his eye open for significant things, however small. No trouble was too much for him to
take. He never did a job without putting his heart into it.
Whenever I visited England I went to see Stannard because we were friends and because he
loved the West Indies. He had a charming home at Frith End, some seventy miles or so from
Londori, down in Hampshire. In July, 1944, I spent a weekend there. We sat on the lawn in the late
summer afternoon and talked of the West Indies while overhead the great bombers in their hundreds
thundered across to Normandy. Earlier in the afternoon the shining two-engined Lockheeds had
passed over; now the giant Lancasters filled the heavens with their voice That was four years
ago. In some ways that summer seems to belong to another age. Yet it is as if we talked yester-
The talk was most of it about the West Indies; the literature and painting that was being done;'
the plans for the University College, and the growing demand for knowledge. There were enquiries
for friends in many parts of the West Indies; in British Guiana and in the islands. For Stannard
had many friends in these lands. Few visitors have made contact so quickly with the people. He
was interested and sympathetic. We did not ask for more. But he had more to give for he was a
scholar and an idealist.
Last year I talked with Stannard for the last time. His doctors had forbidden him to work
in the afternoons. He was allowed to go to the office in the mornings. and compelled to rest in
the afternoons. He looked very small, and all at once, old. He was tired. He felt things intensely
and the events of the war had taken his life from him. I did not know that the end was so near.
Perhaps, if I had, I would have stayed longer that afternoon, but it was not easy to see one's active
friend lying so inactive.
We who knew him will not forget Harold Stannard. He did not really belong to our age.
There was something of Gibbon about this little man, something of another and an earlier century;
its scholarship, its enthusiasm, its courtesy. But the things for which he stood are permanent. And
he was willing to pay the cost of his convictions, too. After Munich, he threw up a connection
worth some 700 a year because he could no longer support the party concerned. I found that out
much later. Convictions were more than phrases with Harold Stannard.
Freedom was coming to birth among the people held in bondage for centuries. Several ten-
dencies, some world-wide in their operation, some peculiar to the West Indies, were welding the
peoples of the Caribbean into a nation. But there was 'something wanting. Ideas needed the driv-
ing force of emotion, the energy from the depths of the race. A people were waiting for a revela-
tion, a prophet .... .Spirit sought an incarnation and found it. His name, Harold Stannard.
With true poetic justice he came from the "master-people". The mark of the spirit was
upon him. Its burden had driven him half way around the world. He had seen much and suffered
much. And now in his sixtieth year his wisdom had found its final deliverance. The strands of his
experience were woven into a pattern of meaning. The years of preparation were fulfilled. West
Indians knew that but he did not. To the end the shadow of failure clouded his days.
Nurtured among a high but decadent civilisation he had taken his vision to a new people......
The blood of Moses ran in his veins...... The word possessed him...... "The prophet that hath
a dream; and he that hath my word let him speak my word faithfully." The dream was of "a lofty
Caribbean destiny." The words were unforgettable.
He came among the people, unheralded, unknown. He went among the people. He spoke to
them. Not only the great people, not only the artists but the forgotten nameless people. And
the people cherished his message for it was the age-old message of brotherhood .. The people
understand these things better than statesmen or artists.
There was the legend of the brilliant career at Oxford, the years in Italy and in Fleet Street.
But these things did not matter. What mattered was the unfailing wisdom, the laughter and the
When he had spoken to you, you felt strengthened in purpose. The years of painful striving
had a meaning after all. You went forward a stronger man. You understood the power of Jesus
and Socrates. He had that power in a lesser de ;ree. His words could shake you to the roots.
then lift you up and point you to the distant goal and suddenly the road was less painful.
He went about, among the people for seven weeks. And then he left. And a legend grew
about his name. His words were spoken from many mouths. Stories, some true, some apocry-
phal were told and retold and grew in significance with the telling.
Across the intervening years he sent us messages of courage, consolation and hope although
the fabric of civilisation was crumbling about him.
Came the news of his death, and the feeling of desolation. The light had left the day. The
people who had known him found it difficult to go on living without him.
Several weeks ago I stood in the rose garden of a hotel in the fading light of a Saturday after-
noon. I had gone there to meet a friend. But now, I stood in the garden remembering another
Saturday afternoon, years ago .... I had met the old man therefore the first time And now he
was dead. I had kept the thought from me for a long time. The naked fact of his death con-
fronted me, now. The wintry discipline of my life, the consolations I had found in religion and
philosophy were torn from me. I was not reconciled to it
There was the old watchman beside me: "What do you want?"
"Do you remember Harold Stannard", I said simply. "He is dead, you know."
The old man remembered and was moved, remembered one man among several hundred who
passed through the gates of the hotel.
And there in the dusk I understood. Harold Stannard was not dead. Wherever his memory
is cherished, there he lives. Faith had found its consolation in a new pentecost.
JAMES W. SMITH
There are many people who will remember Harold Stannard the lecturer. They will remember
him as an orator of distinction: one who could speak untiringly for hours, and delight his audi-
ence with a flow of language and a store of knowledge priceless in their excellence. To those people,
Harold Stannard's death coming so soon after they had heard him broadcast over the B.B.C. his
message to the 4th Annual Convention of the B.G. Union of Cultural Clubs, was indeed a regrettable
affair. The lecturer whose orations had delighted them was no more, his vast store of knowledge
was no longer at their disposal.
To a few more fortunate people however, Harold Stannard's death was a personal loss, for they
mourned the passing of a friend Harold Stannard the man was dead! It is to the latter Stannard
I wish to pay tribute. To the little grey old man with the queer looking straw hat.
After having read so much about Harold Stannard the Oxford graduate, "Times" leader-
writer and lecturer, I must confess I was rather disappointed at the sight of the little old man in
whom all these qualities were personified. When once I had heard him speak-however, I realized
that his personality was so immense as to dwarf even further his physical stature. But when I
met him personally, I knew that his greatness lay in his sincerity and personal charm. I knew then
that I stood on the threshold of a friendship that could end only at death. And even now that he
is no more, I cherish the memory of our first meeting.
During one of our talks, I discussed with him what-was then but the conception of a plan with
which I had been toying. I was at that time President of the Harjon Literary and Social Club
which I had founded about two years previously. Harold Stannard had addressed members of Harjon
on the previous Sunday, and he was telling me of the pleasant surprise he had experienced at
finding so many literary and cultural clubs, so many people interested in things artistic in George-
town and its suburbs. It was then that I told him of the idea I had in mind that all such
Clubs in the Colony should band themselves together into a Union for cultural upliftment in
British Guiana. Stannard approved of the ideawith enthusiasm. "By all means go ahead and
form the Union", he said. "Such a Union willnot be difficult to form, for you will find that
its members are ready and waiting for the call.Such an organisation will be a great asset to the
What prophetic words those were! I am gladthat Harold Stannard lived to know that the Union
was formed, and that every year its members looked forward to his sending a message to the
Convention. This year there will be no such message. But when the Union of Cultural Clubs Con-
vention opens in August this year, all the members will feel the presence of a great spirit moving in
their midst the spirit of Harold Stannard.
At his death the arts in British Guiana and the West Indies lost their greatest patron; the
artists lost a friend, but his memory, and the impetus he gave to art here can never die.
The Harjon movement amalgamated with a similar movement initiated by Club 25, and the
B.G. Union of Cultural Clubs was born.-Editor.
EVAN S. DRAYTON
I once read a biography of a famous personage, and at the end of it, the real man was just as
much an enigma as before.
It was the same elusiveness that struck me most about Harold Stannard. I was at the B.P.I.
when he came to British Guiana, and was assigned the delightful task of helping him arrange his
interviews with the various groups who wished to see him. There were over seventy of these,
and during Stannard's visit much of my time was necessarily spent in his company, by day and far
into the night, in his periods of activity and moments of relaxation; and after he returned home
we wrote one another now and then. Yet, I cannot say I ever got to know the real Harold Stannard
much better than the day he first ambled into the BPI, looking the story-book picture of a Pro-
fessor of Ancient History.
When I thought I had come to grips with the real man he would reveal a new facet of his
character that completely upset my calculations. For instance, early in the tour I got the impres-
sion that he felt that greater efforts should be made to interpret us Colonials to the people of
Britain, than in the reverse process. But then there is that somewhat cynical remark he made
after an interview with a local organisation. He had sent me downstairs to mingle with the depu-
tation and assess their impression of the interview. Because Stannard had said a few words in an
ancient and rare language the deputation were high in their praise of him. When I told him
this, an amused gleam lit up his eyes, and he said: "You know, Drayton, I couldn't make head or
tail of what they were saying, but I quoted the only bit of so-and-so I know, and it worked."
Standard's sharp wit and alert fertile mind belied his appearance. Time and again he showed him-
self master of repartee, satire, the bon mot. Many of his quips have been long since faded from
memory, but I shall never forget an occasion at a public lecture when an insufferable bore plied
the Old Man with the most preposterous questions. Stannard maintained his good humour and urbanity
long after the rest of the audience had lost their tempers. For the nth time, the irrepressible ques-
tioner rose, and asked: "Mr. Stannard, why is it that two children born and reared in the same
environment turn out differently?" Quick as lightning, Stannard retorted: "Wouldn't it be a dull
world if we were all alike!" The audience roared, and there was no further trouble from the bore.
That was by no means the only occasion on which Stannard was taken advantage of by well-
meaning parasites. Later in his tour, at a social function, he was pestered by another portentious
bore who struck at his side all evening. Stannard never showed the slightest sign of annoyance
but afterwards, when he was among friends, he exploded: "Who was that damned fool who kept
badgering me all night?"
His sense of humour deserted him also at a farewell broadcast which almost ended disas-
trously. But that was not funny. I am afraid I was the culprit, for in collating the typescript one
page of Stannard's got misplaced. We were so rushed that day there was no time to double-
check before the actual broadcast. Before the microphone next day, A. J. Seymour and I were
questioning Stannard, and surprise and then consternation came upon me when Stannard went off
at a tangent and I realized what had happened.
We floundered desperately for a minute that seemed like eternity until Arthur came to the
rescue by poking his own script under Stannard's nose, and we got through somehow. I was wet
through at the end, and my discomfiture was no bit eased by the sight of Stannard sitting weakly
in a chair mopping his brow agitatedly.
Afterwards, we learnt the flaw had not been very noticeable on the air, but Stannard had already
autographed my broadcast script thus: "In memory of a disastrous broadcast we made together."
That broadcast script, and two other presents he gave me-copies of "Gibbon" by G. M. Young,
and "Barchester Towers" by Trollope are treasured possessions. I take them off the shelf every once
in a while, dust them carefully, stare affectionately at the illegible signature, and return them to
the shelf. I chose them myself, yet I have never felt inclined to read them, and I sometimes wonder
whether there is any connection between this strange disinclination, and the fact that I was never
able to read the man who gave them to me......
I was one of the 200 persons who went to the Carnegie Free Library to hear Harold Stannard
talk on "The Clash of Cultures". Before that, there had been many stories circulating about him.
After all, he was the first man the British Council had sent out to the West Indies to find out their
needs and interests, culturally, and like any other Commission, Royal or otherwise, was viewed not
only with a great deal of interest but, rightly or wrongly, with more than a little suspicion. So
everyone was curious to hear the little man who wore the Jamaican panama hat and brown sandals
like the Christ's. Especially passed from mouth to mouth, had been Harold Stannard's dour com-
ment when the drunken American soldier nearly upset his table where he was entertaining friends
at the Park Hotel: "There's only one country in the world that has passed from barbarism to decad-
ence without once experiencing civilisation". But then I don't think Harold Stannard ever felt
at home with the skyscrapers in America.
He began the lecture simply: "Culture is a way of life". (He had a trick -quite intriguing it
was of opening his mouth slightly for fully two seconds before he said anything and closing it
suddenly when he had finished). Culture. That word that is used pretentiously in some quarters
and self-consciously in others, so much so that one doesn't know what or all that it means. "The
clash of cultures occurs when the people who wear their shirts inside their pants come in contact
with the people who wear their shirts outside their pants". The city was then in the midst of the
American "invasion" and respectability had been frowning at the jitterbug dress of many of the
Americans. So at the outset he scored full marks. He continued. "Those were the non-essentials
and were subject to the individual's convenience and personal taste, that did not constitute cul-
ture." It was a way of life and a way of thought not to be defined by convention, nor by fine
manners and Emily Post, nor by fashion.
He stressed how Great Britain was truly great because in her language, and in her culture, she
was always borrowing from other countries, as could be seen from History. She had borrowed from
Rome, from France, from the East and from America, and continues to borrow and so enriches her
own culture: so we in the West Indies should look at it in the same light, we should have no complex
about being copyists nor be ashamed of borrowing and borrowing anything that was worthwhile
from any country that would so help in the building of something new and peculiar our own.
Before he had spoken for half an hour it was impossible not to realise that here was a man
whose like had never before been sent out to the Colonies perhaps we had not been ready to
receive him. Those in the audience who felt they were capable of assessing values spoke later
of the great scholar he was. They spoke of his intellectual background, his erudition, how widely
travelled he seemed to have been. But it was his deep understanding of human values, his sympa-
thetic approach towards West Indian problems that won him the affection of the West Indian people.
He spoke of the grave responsibilities of people in the United Kingdom towards people in these
parts of our own responsibility towards themselves. Whereas one could never minimise the great-
ness of tradition, there was nothing to be ashamed of because one had come late in History. And
we were the people of to-morrow. We had Youth.
One evening I was asked to meet Harold Stannard at a freind's home. While greeting the
family on his arrival, he stopped near the baby's crib and took up the child only to be greeted
with piercing shrieks and vigorous kicks. Quickly putting him down, Harold Stannard remarked:
"Take me away. I'm afraid he has no use for British culture." Later that same evening, one
of the other children, aged 5, got out of bed and insisted on detailing to Mr. Stannard the items of
refreshment that had been prepared for him. Then quite suddenly she added: "We picked some
sapodillas to-day, Mr. Stannard; do you have sapodillas in England Mr. Standard? Have you ever
eaten a sapodilla Mr. Stannard? I would like you to try one of our sapodillas Mr. Standard, they're
very sweet." She ran off and was back in an instant with a plate on which was a large sapodilla
cut in half, looking very succulent, perhaps eventoo succulent. After a while he enquired if all
sapodillas were acid. We said no, not suspecting anything. Then again he asked did all sapo-
dillas have that astringent quality. Still no one suspected anything: He finished it all making
some general remark on British Guianese fruit. That night after Harold Stannard left we discovered
from the softness of the skin beneath, that the sapodilla had been not only over-ripe but quite rotten.
He had eaten it to the bitter end in front of the child. He was that kind of man.
He had untiring energy, and though deluged with invitations to address numerous small
groups and meetings, he never refused an opportunity to speak to people. He always stressed
however, the great advantage to be gained if the various small groups and societies of similar in-
terests and aims would unite into one big union of cultural clubs to pool their resources and plan
profitable programmes of group activity.
A very important thing about Harold Stannard His learning was not obvious. It was so
completely assimilated into his bloodstream, that not only could he talk to people, but anyone could
talk with him and feel as if they'too had something to contribute: but in the presence of anything
phony or counterfeit, he could be bluntly frank in the polished phrase, of course-and then there
was no mistake what he wanted to convey. But anyone could talk with him.
One of the things he said I shall always remember was that if one couldn't grow to like one's
job very much, one should work hard at it and at the same time live deeply and fully m one's
interests and hobbies.
Apart from his specific mission of a cultural survey, Harold Stannard was genuinely interested,
personally, in helping the people of the West Indies and giving them back a pride in themselves.
With his death, the West Indies lost a real friend
To close the feature I include extracts from two of Harold Stannard's letters. The first replies
to a question asked in January, 1946.
"How I spent Christmas? In days gone by I used always to fill the house and plan for the
proper entertainment of my guests. There were also important preliminaries. My Christmas card
list was a long one, each card was carefully chosen and I staggered the posting according to
distance so that Santa Claus might deliver them on the right day. Also there were presents for
Once when I had some children here, I even put on a white beard, and a red dressing gown
and was Father Christmas himself (No, I did not come down the chimney). ... .Christmas day
itself was an anti-climax. .I settled down in front of the fire and addressed myself to an
important scientific experiment. I made every effort to induce hibernation. At first all went
well but apparently will power flagged after half an hour or so ....
I thought as I have so often thought, of the contrast between the comfortable settled Victorian
world in which I was brought up and fitted to live and the world of bloodshed and revolution in
which I have actually lived and it occurred to me that after all my experience was not unique and
that other civilised persons before me had had to watch the dissolution of their society. So I got
my Gibbon out of the chilly study and read the close of his second volume and so attained a
measure of serenity."
What did Stannard think about death?
After V.E. Day in 1945, he wrote "The relief from strain is very great. I used to go to bed
wondering whether I should wake up an angel and if so, whether I should be glad or sorry. There
is, I think a touch if only a superficial touch of flippancy in my thought about death. That
is because I consider it a bit morbid to think about it at all and as the thought can hardly be kept
at bay as my infirmities (all of them only physical, thank goodness) become more insistent, I escape
in a joke.
Actually I haven't much to say on this topic. If British Guiana holds a copy of Lecky's "Map
of Life", have a look at the last chapter. It is a piece of sturdy Victorian teaching which impressed
me strongly when I read it in my teens and has served me justly well since. The agnostic cast of
my mind excludes all ideas of preparing to meet my Maker and all speculation about what will
happen afterwards if there is an afterwards. A little vague mysticism is enough for me to
I do try to lead my life by the light of values independent of time and circumstance so I suppose
there must be some reality in which those values exist. But I, bounded as I am by spatio-temporal
limitations, cannot possibly apprehend them. So why worry? Whether I too must eternally exist
is, I think, a relatively unimportant question. I can't exist without my eternal values but they
can very well exist without me.
But it takes all sorts to make a world and perhaps a touch of scepticism about the world to
come makes for zealous social service in the world here and now."
R.I.P. Does Not Apply ...
THE BUCCANEER GOVERNOR.
by Irma Pilgrim
There is a quotation which heads a chapter of a book on West Indian history, "Romance is crime
in the past tense." I do not know its source, but I know it made me read that chapter and several
other chapters of quite a few books about the West Indies. Eventually I came across a very old book,
just a collection of dead, yellow leaves, or so it seemed until I looked into it. But in this book were
set down some of the most hair-raising stories of all time, and I think it was the thought behind that
quotation that made me read them.
The frontispiece was an engraving of a nobleman of Charles II's time. There he was, with a
thick, black wavy wig, with what the modern girl would call kiss-curls. Naturally, he was endowed
with curling moustachios and one of those little beards that looked like an exclamation mark. Being a
dandy, even for that period, he wore a flowered brocade coat with fashionable slit sleeves revealing
his satin shirt. Here was a gentleman of leisure. but what about the background of the portrait? The
engraver had depicted a choppy sea bearing a fleet of contented ships with billowy sails, while the
opposite corner showed flaming vessels and drowning men. But the ships in the former scene were
either consciously ignoring or unconsciously unaware of the disaster so near at hand. The title page
gave me the clue; "The Buccaneers of America; a true account of the most remarkable assaults com-
mitted of late years upon the coasts of the West Indies by the Buccaneers of Jamaica and Tortuga
(both English and French): wherein are contained more especially the unparalleled exploits of Sir
Henry Morgan our English Jamaican hero, who sacked Porto Bello, burnt Panama, etc." All this from
the pen of John Esquemeling, "one of the buccaneers who was present at those tragedies." That
portrait was of Sir Henry Morgan, one of the only buccaneers, if not the only one, who ended up with
a knighthood and was able to die in a very luxurious bed instead of going out with a rope around his
Up to the time he joined the buccaneers, Henry Morgan's life was not an unusual one for the 17th
century. It was the story of a strong-willed lad who ran away from his comfortable Welsh home on
a farm. He was determined to go to sea and visit the fabulous Indies where prosperity was sudden,
unlike the slow security that might be had from an agricultural life. Many authors have hinted that
he left behind him, a broken heart, that he never forgot the one love of his life. But I don't think
that Henry Morgan would have been afflicted with an unselfish thing like love. He always thought of
himself first and anyone or anything else ran a poor second. Morgan was just too "smart" for life
on a Welsh mountain farm.
Morgan sailed on a ship to Barbados all right, but he arrived a slave. For the first and last time
in his life, a crew tricked Morgan, and on his arrival he found that he had been sold as a bond slave
for five years. But he made good use of that time. He soon made friends with his owner and, being
a model slave was able to go down to the port and pick up news about ways and means of acquiring
wealth in the West Indies. It is said that he had an uncle who held a high position in Jamaica, and
this may have influenced Morgan's plans for the future, for he made his way to that island as soon
as he was free. Morgan must have found his uncle an unlikely source of livelihood, for he soon con-
tacted the buccaneers of the North Coast of Jamaica who were then becoming powerful enough to
consider forming their own pirate state.
At this time, Spain was the greatest power in the New World. The Indians of Central and South
America had been subdued, and Spain was carrying away her loot of gold and silver by the shipload.
Most of the ports along the Caribbean and Atlantic had been converted into vast storehouses; and to
stock them even faster, the Spanish ships emptied their holds in Europe only to refill them with slaves
Naturally, this prosperity caused jealousy among the other European powers, and although Eng-
land and France were not officially at war with Spain, they saw no reason why the Spanish galleons
should not meet with a few "accidents." This policy allowed the buccaneers to come into power.
These men consisted of those outlaws of mainly English, French or Dutch descent who were willing to
gain a fortune the hard way. In small fleets they attacked the Spanish vessels and ports and often
sold the stolen provisions and slaves to the colonists of North America, while keeping the precious
cargoes. Their headquarters were at Tortuga (Turtle Island) and Jamaica. Here they lived a sort of
Robinson Crusoe existence, living on various forms of wild life. Their meals seemed to have ranged
from scarcely edible wild meat to the highly palatable turtle. Even the manatee did not escape their
notice, for Esquemeling describes this as quite an attractive dish, tasting somewhat lke pork.
When Morgan arrived in Jamaica, Captain Mansfield was in command of the buccaneers and was
one of the best leaders they had up to that time. Under Mansfield, Morgan eventually became vice-
admiral of a fleet and on the death of his commander was able to start his own company. After
Morgan assumed command, he began to prove his power of leadership. Buccaneers of all nations
were anxious to sail with him, for it was said that his luck came from some occult power. But
Morgan's secrets were his careful attention to the details of a raid and his endless strategems. He also
knew his men, whom to pick to sail his ships, and whom to send ashore in commando attack.
When Morgan was ready to plan his first raid, things in the Caribbean were very much on the
minds of those abroad. It is true that in England, Charles II might have been playing with his pet
spaniels in the newly-laid out St. James Park and Pepys and Evelyn recording the times in their
diaries. And over in France, the ambitious Louis XIV was surrounding himself with men of ideas
and consequently with glory. Nevertheless, both England and France were very interested in their
Caribbean possessions and realized their value. Spain's hated papal bull, which had once given her
entire domination of that area, had been gradually pushed aside by the other European powers. Both
English and French had settled in the lesser Antilles, while the astute Dutch had set up as traders
for the entire area. Spain had conquered the Main, Mexico and the Greater Antilles, excepting
Jamaica. The great struggle for supremacy between these powers was being carried on in Europe
and the repercussions were being felt in the Caribbean. The conflicts in the West Indies were guided
by the home governments and treaties made abroad complicated matters still more. It was not uncom-
mon for colonists to find that they had been fighting their allies, news of a treaty with their "enemy"
having being delayed. A historian points out that on one occasion in the West Indies, the French
were fighting the Spanish only to unite with them later in a struggle against the English. There is
no doubt that this turmoil helped Morgan considerably, when the governor of Jamaica was only too
ready to legalize a raid by granting the buccaneers a commission, for he could never be sure which
power was on his side.
For his first big attack, Morgan collected his men in South Cuba, 700 French and English. After
many councils with his captains, Morgan decided to attack Puerto Principe, one of Spain's stopping
points in Cuba on the long journey to Europe. Morgan sailed to a small nearby inlet and proceeded to
raid a few villages, but when he had progressed a little way inland, he turned back to assault Puerto
Principe. Even though the inhabitants had received news of this attack, they were disbelieving,
but Morgan and his men marched across the intervening plain to the port, and when they were in
sight, they advanced in semi-circular fashion with bared knives (and I am sure, terrible oaths). The
half-hearted army which had been sent to stop the enemy succumbed to this planned warfare, and
the buccaneers were soon in possession. Morgan sent a typical message to the governor, "If you sur-
render not voluntarily, you shall soon see the town in a flame, and your wives and children torn in
pieces before your faces." And that was exactly what he was capable of doing. He collected his
prisoners and ordered them to pay a heavy ransom to save the port. But in the meantime, Morgan
heard that the governor of Santiago was planning a relief assault, so he sailed without his ransom, but
not before the prisoners had loaded the ships with all the booty and a few well roasted oxen.
Somehow the pirates realized that the profits from this last raid were smaller than they should
be. Doubtless Morgan had pocketed most of the loot, but he must have had very convincing argu-
ments, for we find the same men following him, again and again. His persuasive powers were strong.
and he seemed to be able to make men long to join his ranks and perform almost Impossible feats of
bravery. In sober moods, the buccaneers must have realized that Morgan always came off extremely
well, but some peculiar fascination kept them from murdering him as was customary in those days
when there were disputes of that kind.
Morgan was now ready to make plans for his next assault, which would make the last one look
trifling. He spent a long time working up his men to assault Porto Bello, one of the largest Spanish
treasure houses on the Caribbean side of Panama, well guarded by two forts. First, the buccaneers
captured the first fort by night, and then sent one of their terrible demands to the second, which
seemed to have paralysed the Spaniards. Those in the city, including the governor, barricaded them-
selves in the castle. Morgan marched in and captured nearly 300 slaves and numbers of women and
children, but still he was unable to take the castle. Then Morgan evolved one of his cruellest ideas.
He collected all the nuns, priests and monks and made them scale ladders against the castle walls.
But he did not reckon with the character of the governor, who let the Spanish soldiers go on firing at
the religious men and women, knowing that the buccaneers who were following, would soon get
the worst of it. But eventually, even this governor had to give in, although Morgan lost many men.
The buccaneers then proceeded to turn themselves into "tigers and lions", for they were cer-
tainly capable of behaving like beasts, while they debauched in the best 17th century fashion. In the
midst of his success, Morgan received word from th e President of Panama who had heard of the raid
through one of the prisoners who had been sent to collect a ransom for the people of Porto Bello. He
congratulated Morgan and requested that he send him "that slender pattern of arms wherewith he
had taken Porto Bello." Morgan straightway sent him a useless pistol, saying that he would collect
it himself in the near future.
On arrival in Jamaica, Morgan found the governor. Sir Thomas Modyford, a little cold although
he had been '"given a cut" from every raid. Sir Thomas was scared of what England was saying
about these attacks on Spain, for they were still not at war. But Morgan spun a yarn about prepara-
tions by the Spanish for an attack on Jamaica, evidence of this being found in both Puerto Principe
and Porto Bello. Naturally, such foresight did not go unrewarded and Morgan was made admiral of
a fleet to defend Jamaica from the Spanish.
The next attack was directed against Maracaibo. To reach the town, the buccaneers had to pass
through a narrow entrance and cross the lake on which Maracaibo was situated. They passed the
forts successfully, for they were deserted, but the Spaniards had intended them to be a trap, for
gunpowder complete with lighted fuse was found in the first fort. Morgan ravaged Maracaibo and
the nearby Gibraltar. But the return trip was dangerous. The Spaniards had gathered in three war-
ships at the entrance to the lake, and the forts were armed. But Morgan was too good for them. He
constructed a fire ship, even to the extent of dressing logs like men, and sent this among the Spanish
ships. As soon as it touched the first man-o-war, it burst into flame, quickly setting fire to the
remaining ships. By nightfall, Morgan and his men fooled those in the fort that they were landing
nearby, but in reality, they all returned hiding in the bottoms of the boats when they saw that the
Spanish had trained their guns for a land attack. Dawn saw Morgan streaking through the narrow
entrance, while the Spanish tried to bring back their guns seawards.
In 1670, Morgan made his famous trek to Panama. They started by capturing the Isle of Provi-
dence, where Morgan and some of his men stayed with provisions for the return journey. Four hun-
dred buccaneers were sent by Morgan to capture Fort San Lorenzo at the mouth of Chagres River and
succeeded. Morgan then joined his men at the Fort with more provisions from Providence, leaving
some at the fort. 1,200 strong, the buccaneers planned to march to Panama, carrying a little food,
hoping to take provisions from any Spanish they might meet. But for once Morgan nearly failed, for
he did not realise that they were passing through thick jungle, with no likelihood of meeting villages.
This trek took them nine days and they nearly all died from terrible fever and from attacks from
unseen Indians. Everywhere the clearings were free from Spaniards who had fled, leaving no food.
Eventually, the remnants of the 1,200 arrived outside Panama to battle with the Spaniards. The
Spanish soldiers thought they would stem the attack by letting loose a hoard of wild-bulls to charge
the buccaneers. But they forgot that these men were used to cattle, for they quickly rounded the
bulls so that they charged back against the Spanish. And Esquemeling tells us that those animals
which did not turn back, were caught and eaten raw by Morgan and his men, their hunger being so
Panama was soon entered by the buccaneers, but Morgan forbade them to drink the wine, saying
that it was poisoned. This was to prevent his men from becoming so drunk that the remaining Span-
iards would finish up this small army. Now Morgan set to work to torture his prisoners, especially
the women and children, on whom he inflicted the punishments himself. Here is where Morgan
showed his true colours, for by night he crept away from Panama with the best of the loot, leaving
his men to find their way back to Jamaica.
In Jamaica, the governor was anxiously awaiting Morgan, for Spain and England had signed a
peace treaty recently, and the king had requested that the buccaneer be sent to England for trial.
Before this, Modyford had been able to use his discretion about granting commissions to the buc-
caneers, but now the home government had withdrawn its backing. Morgan realized that he would
have to dispel the idea that he was a common pirate. He set about buying land and consolidated his
position with those who mattered in Jamaica. Charles II must have been quite interested in meeting
Henry Morgan, the buccaneer who had done the impossible so many times. He would not have
been fooled by Morgan's appearance, that of a well-dressed landowner, so interested in Jamaica's wel-
fare. What passed between Morgan and Charles II must be left to our imagination, but he certainly
succeeded in charming the king, while tactfully presenting him with some Spanish gold. In 1675,
Morgan returned to Jamaica as Sir Henry Morgan, having promised to wipe out the buccaneer element.
And who was more qualified to carry out this order? He was quick to hang his former pirate friends.
Poor Sir Thomas Modyford was recalled, and was it not natural that Sir Henry should govern
Jamaica for his unceasing service to the Crown? To add to his prestige, Sir Henry married a virtuous
"highbrow" lady and received as a wedding present Cat Cay, an island in the Bahamas off the coast
of Florida. Lady Morgan did not fit in with the-Port Royal life, so Sir Henry installed her on Cat Cay
and proceeded to surpass himself in Jamaica. No woman could resist.his charm, and it is said that
up to to-day, there are many Jamaicans with Morgan's features.
In 1688, Sir Henry Morgan died, wealthy and powerful, and was buried at Port Royal. It would
be fitting to add that his last nights were filled with nightmares, and that he was maddened with
remorse. Unfortunately, no such record exists. There is only the fact that he had no friends, that
he was always on the look-out for plots to overthrow him. I wonder if it is significant that Port
Royal was destroyed by earthquake and fire, as Kingston was to be, centuries after. Maybe R.I.P.
does not apply to Sir Henry Morgan.
By EUGENE BARTRUM.
"Going for Five Dollars" said the bailiff nonchalantly as He raised his hammer "Any Offers?"
A gaunt but well dressed old man pushed himselfthrough the gathering "Ten Dollars" he shouted,
"Eleven Dollars" said a contralto voice near to his elbow. The old man did not look around to see
who his competitor was "Twenty-two Dollars" he shouted. At this stage the bailiff's indifference
changed into enthusiasm. He no longer felt himself a mere bailiff, but assumed the air of a pro-
"Twenty-two Dollars" he hummed "Going for only Twenty-two Dollars. This beautiful parrot.
It talks like a schoolmaster, argues like a politician, sings like Dick Haynes and curses like the
blazes........Any offers?" "Twenty-two fifty" said the contralto voice, "Forty-five Dollars" said the
old man "Going for Forty-five Dollars. And still dirt cheap" said the bailiff. "Forty-five fifty" said
the old man, "Ninety-one fifty" echoed the contralto voice, "One hundred and eighty-three dollars"
said the old man fiercely.
The bailiff was non-plussed as his hammer went down on one hundred and eighty-three dollars.
He was not so sure of the other bidder but he knew the gaunt old man well. Although the old
man was a miser and not much loved in the community, yet one hundred and eighty-three dollars
would make an infinitesimal change in that hoarders heavy bank balance. Old Tom Andrews took
out his purse, counted the money carefully and handed it to the bailiff. He then proceeded to col-
lect his parrot. There was one person, however, who knew the parrot's real worth and why it
carried such a high price. That was Mrs. Baker, a trim little widow of middle age, who stood
at a respectable distance off watching the proceedings.
Before the sale the parrot belonged to Mrs. Baker, but being unable to meet a month's rent it was
levied on along with her little bits of furniture. Mrs. Barker called the parrot 'Pretty Poll' and
brought it up as she did her children. She was a poor woman whose husband had died two years
before and left her with two children and Pretty Poll. Pretty Poll was left to watch -the house
when her mistress went out to work and the children to school. She knew partly by instinct and
partly by overhearing her mistress's conversation, who were to be regarded as friends and who as
enemies. If friendly neighbours knocked on the door when Mrs. Baker was out, they were always
pleasantly greeted by Pretty Poll's "Good Day. Mrs. Baker is out. Call again if you please." If
in unfriendly visitor turned up, Pretty Poll handled the situation in an entirely different manner.
Mrs. Baker was a friendly soul and had only one type of unfriendly visitor, actuated moreso by her
circumstances than by herself. Those persons were her creditors.
The most consistent actor in this role was her landlord who served as his own rent collector.
"Go to hell! you damned old miser" was Pretty Poll's stock greeting to him. If he considered
going to hell not such a pleasant recourse and remained any longer in the yard, "Pretty Poll's blas-
phemous denounciation expanded volubly. That worthy gentleman had the unenviable lot of being
the owner of all the tenements in Mrs. Baker's neighbourhood. Naturally, Pretty Poll's behaviour
annoyed him considerably. It was two years since Mrs. Baker lived in the front cottage and each
month he braced himself up to endure Pretty Poll's abuse of his dignity. Gradually his dislike for
Pretty Poll grew into a bitter hatred. He told Mrs. Baker nothing, but nursed his hatred in his
mind, biding the time when he could give that 'damned' parrot its desert.
The day came when Mrs. Baker lost her work and could not met a month's rent. Tom Andrews
had no mercy on hei. The levy cart went in and Pretty Poll was taken down to the bailiff's office.
Tom Andrews had sworn that he would bid twice as any one for that parrot. Mrs. Baker's month's
rent amounted to twelve Dollars.
He gave that anomaly no thought but collected his parrot with a satisfied feeling of revenge. A
peaceful smile played on his wizened countenance as his thoughts dwelt on the punishment he had
in store for his feathered tormentor. Pretty Poll was humming sweetly all through the sale. Now she
was singing her favourite tune "Home Sweet Home". As soon as Tom Andrews placed his hand on
her cage she changed her tempo. In a flash her stock greeting for him was out "Go to hell! You
damned old miser! ...." Tom Andrews ignored Pretty Poll's abuse and lifted the cagd with a smug
smile on his face. Then the tornado started. Pretty Poll's language grew so foul that the Police
had to intervene. As soon as Tom Andrews put down the cage Pretty Poll resumed singing "Home
Sweet Home." Every one was amused but An-drews was determined. He lifted the cage again
and once more Pretty Poll polluted the atmosphere.The Police warned Andrews that if the parrot
was his he would be charged. One Officer had already taken out his note book. Tom Andrews
was beaten. He raised his head and looked aroundin dismay. Standing near to him was Mrs. Baker
"I will give you a dollar for Polly", the widowsaid pleasantly. "Give me" Tom Andrews grunted,
extending a shaking hand.
Mrs. Baker paid the miser his dollar and collected her beloved parrot. As she left the court
yard proudly Pretty Poll's voice was heard singing sweetly and softly "Home Sweet Home."
Plantation Names in British Guiana.
Many of these names anticipate or commemorate struggles and triumphs of the early settlers,
thus they give a peep into the life of our pioneer ancestors.
Until 1740 only a Dutch subject could obtain land but after 1740, Essequibo was thrown open to
all nations. As a consequence there was an influx of English and French settlers, u o
With the British conquest and the cotton boom, the coasts from Mahaica to the Corentyne
saw an inflow of planters who gave British names to their plantations, e.g., Airy Hall, Albion, Auch-
lyne, Brighton, Carnarvon, Liverpool, Planter's Hall, Tarlogie and Tranquility Hall.
Some were named afte
Ladies of the family
Love of family
Partnership or Friend
Loyalty or love of Cot
Strong religious feeling
The Fortune Seeker or
Refuge in Guiana
A grant of land might
Or it required time, c
Downfall but try again
Care and sorrow
The Pleasure Lover
Industry, even Good and
Cornelia Ida, Eve Leary, Kitty, Sophia.
De Kinderen (children), La Bonne Mere, Sisters.
ship .. .. Fellowship, Friendship, Le Ressouvenir, Friend-
ship, Two or Three Friends.
untry .. .. Haag Bosche (Palace at the Hague), La Belle,
Alliance (Peace of Europe), Waterloo, Wel-
g .. Joppa, Land of Canaan, La Penitence, Le Repentir,
Belfield (a wide or fair field), Bush Lot, Bushy
Park, Hyde Park, Ruimveld (a beautiful view),
Zandvoort (sand front).
r Pioneer .. Adventure, Aurora, Better Hope, Enterprise, Goed
Fortuin, Hope, La Bagatelle, La Bonne Inten-
tion, Onderneeming, Sheet Anchor, Prospect.
La Retraite, Mon Repos, Toevlugt, Vreed-en-Hoop,
have been a
Diamond, Golden Fleece, Golden Grove, Non
Pareil (unrivalled) Potosi, Beterverwagting,
ourage, diligence, Endeavour, Expectation, Goedverwagting,
Perseverance, Reliance, Schepmoed (courage),
Noitgedacht (Dutch), Nabaclis (Irish).
Free-and-Easy, Hog Stye, Success rewarded
Better Success, and benefit (Wcldaad), Profit, Triumph and Felicitie in
After all, the outcome (Uitkomst) was of the greatest importance.
J. RODWAY, F.L.S.
Editor's Note-This delightful note was used at th e recent exhibition in Georgetown of Teaching Aids.
IDEALS AND REALITY-I
THE WEST INDIAN FAMILY.
by Clement R. Jarvis
All thinkers on the subject of Society agree that the family is the most fundamental element
in social structure, and this is true of all epochs in the history of mankind. Society and the State
are born in homes of its citizens, and the future of Society is determined to a large extent by the
success and stability of the institution of marriage. If the social life of any nation is to progress, the
dynamic for such advancement must lie in the standards which prevail in family life. Recent
investigations carried out in certain European countries on the social life of the people, have disclosed
that where undesirable relationships existed and other facilities for evading the responsibility of
family life were greatest, several evils, some necessitating enormous expenditure from the public
purse for services of the delinquency type, were most prevalent among the people.
Professor T. S. Simey of the School of Social Science at Liverpool University, at the end of four
years' stay in the West Indies, has produced his book, "Welfare and Planning in the West Indies".
The conclusions arrived at in this volume are based upon the author's personal experience of social
problems and administration acquired during his years of work. His observations on living condi-
tions and family standards among West Indian peoples, though not ,new to many should be
challenging to most.
Our Guianese public should lean away from the rather narrow view of recognizing social prob-
lems only in so far as they affect British Guiana, to a broader view of the West Indies as a whole,
and moreso since the thought of federation has recently been so much in the air. Despite the
claims and hopes of a large number of people, British Caribbean territories may yet have a com-
mon destiny even as they had common circumstances of origin and a common social background.
Investigation of these problems should be done with the emphasis on fact-finding and dispassionate
thinking; and before there can be any real desire and urge to redress social evils, people must be
willing to admit that things are what they are.
Much of what is said below will perhaps apply with greater force to other areas of the
West Indies where the population is predominantly of African descent. In British Guiana nearly half
the population harks back to Indian ancestors, and no study, to my knowledge, has been of the
East Indian family. Wherever the phrase "the family" is used therefore, it applies primarily to the
African families of the lower income group which are in the great majority.
It is held that the West Indian family structure cannot be compared with the type of family
common in say, Great Britain, mainly because of economic reasons. Wages are low and the struggle
on the part of each member of the family to gain enough to help balance the budget, deprives the
people of certain customs, apparently small, but really important in fostering the family feeling. The
family meal around a common table is scarcely ever possible; members of the household eat at
various times in various places -in the kitchen, which is sometimes a good distance from the house,
or in the yard. The family itself is a rather incoherent affair. In many cases it is not founded on
the ceremony of marriage, and its relationships are made very transient and unstable. When these
temporary arrangements come to naught, the residue, usually three or four children, are promptly
taken in by other family groups. In cases where the children remain with their mothers, they very
often become the charge of the poor-law department. If not, owing to lack of proper control due
to the absence of a father and also a mother who may be out all day at work, the children are left
to themselves to roam great distances from their homesteads,, without any training for the building
of individual character. Much is not to be expected from the father who may be far away in quest
of a job, and whose position is usually so insecure as to render him oblivious of the fact that he is
a father. The Grenada Commission of 1943, appointed to inquire into the welfare of children, re-
ported that fully two-thirds of the children of these unions receive no support whatever, or very
meagre support from their fathers. A similar committee in Jamaica reported in 1943, "the general
lowering of moral and ethical standards among the younger population due to the fact that moral
standards are poorly evaluated in the general life of the community.
The reasons adduced for this are obvious. Where the education of the child is concerned, it has
been stated that only half of the children between six and fourteen years of age attend school regu-
larly. Overcrowding in schools is frequent, and in some places if the whole school-going population
should decide in favour of school, this would occasion considerable embarrassment to the Govern-
Housing is a very sore point, and the position may well be summarised by the general remark
that housing standards in the West Indies are very much below such as would be expected of the
20th century. This feature has probably done most to accentuate other difficulties in family
How do all these depressing facts sound when related to the views of say the Christian Social
Council of British Guiana, which has published statements on family life and housing? Its state-
ments, couched in very uncompromising language can be regarded as the same type of
comment which any similar body throughout the West Indies would pronounce. Any attempt at
comparison between the actual and the conditions demanded, which can scarcely be called Utopian
or ideal, would reveal how much short of the mark fall social conditions in the West Indies and
let us not forget that our yardstick is the 20th century. The aims of social policy, in the words of
the Comptroller for West Indian Development and Welfare in his 1940-42 report should be to
establish "a life and a livelihood which will bear comparison with the moral and material standards
of the 20th century."
Whereas the Christian Social Council would stress the deep significance of marriage for the
community at large, and pins the future of Society on the success of individual marriages, the facts
as described by Professor Simey are that illegitimacy is more prevalent than not. It is a known
fact that in Jamaica attempts have been made to improve the general position by arrangement of
mass marriages, but here again the standard considered by the Council, by which the success of
each marriage becomes the responsibility of each party to the contract, is not likely to be attained
For those who may be unaware, mass marriages have been arranged in Jamaica in recent years
and are the result of the persuasion by social workers upon numbers of men and women, that the
wedded state is preferable to that of the common law arrangement. Dozens of couples are simul-
taneously taken to this altar and wedded in one ceremony.
The urge to improve overall social conditions in Jamaica is the driving force behind these social
workers, although many of these unions have been stable, and in the best sense of the word, faith-
Whereas the Council feels that "children are meant to be brought up and cared for until they can
assume responsibility for themselves physically, mentally and morally," the fact is that tens of thous-
ands of West Indian boys and girls go uncared for.
Whereas the Council would demand such housing conditions "as will make possible good physical
health and the development of faculties spiritual, mental and moral," the general conditions are de-
plorable, and in one colony investigation showed that "10,177 persons lived in houses with a super-
ficial area of less than 100 square feet at a density of more than six persons in each house."
Whereas the Christian Social Council feels it necessary that each man should earn a decent
living wage to ensure a certain minimum for his family, Simey's book lays bare the fact that "in
many places the weekly wages of parents are insufficient to feed the whole family for a week, and
that many children have no regular meals after Wednesday in each week, and go to school hungry
on Thursday and Fridays." In addition, whatever diet is available is seriously deficient and results
in a general low resistance to infectious diseases.
These short contrasts describe the great disparity between the ethical and the real.
How can we lessen this wide gulf between what should be and what actually is? The answer
rests with the social worker, the economist and the people themselves, whose responsibility it is to
work harder so as to produce more real wealth which alone can bring improvement. Much can be
achieved from the building up of the constructive type of social services as opposed to relief measures,,
directed to increasing the desires of the West Indian for a better life, and pointing out the ways in
which this can be secured. It is of little value to attempt to redress social evils when their roots
lie in the economic. The faster this can be settled and the economy of the countries adjusted to
suit the present needs of the people, the sooner would we ensure the social advancement of these
territories. Let the Church also make what contribution it can to the fulfilment of the ideas it has
so nobly championed.
by Celeste Dolphin
Unlike Kwe'banna, a little Amerindian Mission at the top of its fifty climbing steps notched out of
a red-brick hill which rises suddenly and almost straight up out of the Waini, one comes very quietly
and gradually upon Waramurie.
One crosses the Atlantic from the Pomeroon into the Moruca mouth, and after the first three
hundred yards where fallen trees impede rapid progress, the river makes a series of hairpin turns
and twists now to the right, now to the left, so that sometimes after one has travelled for an hour
in the small mail-boat one is almost back or at some point parallel to where one started.
On either side of the river, huge giant forest trees overhang, casting their reflection into the
clear, black water in a quivering cross-stitch pattern. Sometimes they bend over and clasp hands
and shut out the sky, and then for a period they would toss their heads back and so let in the sun.
But one usually comes upon Waramurie in the quiet of the afternoon, Waramurie or Warrau worry
with its white sand rising gradually from the banks of the river.
At the sound of the mail-boat horn dozens of little children can be seen running quickly down
the white sandhill to collect their letters. As they reach the water's edge they leap into their
corials, some just large enough to hold one small brown body. Dipping paddles skilfully into the
water they soon surround the mail-boat shouting "Letter for me? Anything for me?" Then one
gets a clear idea how very significant these fortnightly mail days are to people in remote areas. It
is a lovely sight to see the gleaming brown naked bodies of the small boys as they swim up to
the sides of the mail-boat and hold out a wet hand for their mothers' letters.
Getting out of the boat with our precious food-box we made our way slowly up to the top of
the mission. The ascent though gradual was long and the white sand soft and loose, so every three
steps we made we slipped back two. The children followed us curiously, offering to help with the
bags- visitors are always welcome at Waramurie. As we reached the top of the hill, the Catechist
met us- he was half Indian, a Cubukru,- and an Indian guide. This Warrau Indian spoke English
with exaggerated correctness and precision, but the clipped staccato intonation of his own native
Warrau made him very pleasing to hear.
As we looked around, over there to the right of the troolie rest house was a large mound almost
a hillock crowned with a large cross. The Amerindian stretched out his right arm pointing to the
cross "Waramurie" he said. It seemed a little dramatic then. But the story goes that years and
years ago the Caribs and Arawaks were continuously fighting each other on this mission. Period-
ically the Caribs would come stealthily down through the forest and seek out the Arawak with bow
and poisoned arrow, and a bloody battle would ensue, after which the victors would bury the
bones of the dead on that special spot over which the cross stood. Later the Arawaks who had
been able to escape would pay a return call and come down upon the Carib crying vengeance
and they too would pile up Carib bones on that very spot. This feud between the two tribes
lasted for several years until they became extinct in that area, but years and years of piling bones
on bones had grown the mound into a hill. Very much later, the Warrau Indians came and settled
on that spot. But the legend goes, the spirits of the dead periodically troubled these new settlers
and caused much Warrau worry, until 1928 when a cross was set upon this mound of bones and a
priest blessed the spot and so forever quieted the evil spirits that troubled Waramurie.
It seemed a fantastic story but it is not a mound of sand and is really composed of bricks and
shells and parts of bone. When it rains heavily, some of it is broken away and one can pick up bits
of bone skull that are said to be human. But no one is indiscreet enough to attempt to seek these
bones in the presence of a Warrau, as they believe that would disturb the sleeping spirits and start
Warrau worry all over again.
Warrau worry troubled me.
It was a beautiful mission on a white sandy clearing with the dense forest behind. There
were many houses of the usual type seen in the interior four bamboo uprights covered with troolie
with two or three family hammocks slung at one end. The family hammock was an ingenious con-
traption. Imagine the ordinary hammock but with three or four storeys-mother and father would
occupy the top flat, boys in the second and the girls at the bottom. And this is all held together
between the same two pieces of rope as the usual one. Walking around, the Indian guide introduced
us to everyone and we were shown over the whole mission. We saw a woman making cassava bread
circles two feet in diameter, that would last the family a week. One broke off whaL one needed for
one meal and then the rest was hung upon a hook inside the house until needed again.
We met an old man who was exceedingly friendly to us. He walked with the spring of a boy of
nineteen and yet he had the face of Old Kaie. I couldn't resist asking him his age. He answered:
"It was in 1886, I think, when my mother, who was wedded to my father, gave birth to a son, which
is I". We learnt that a man of 40 would give his age as anything from seventeen to ninety-five.
He told us how they made Cassirie and how they made Paiwarrie, the more intoxicating of the
two forest drinks. They chewed the sugar cane with certain other herbs and fruit and berries and
spat it out into a large bin and trampled on it in a ceremonial dance of shuffling steps for hours on
end and then left it to ferment. After a period so many days, the paiwarrie was ready, a thick
dark liquid tasting like stout. If one partook of this drink at certain periods one wanted to remain
quite happily in the bush forever. Bilt more than that at times of feasting and dancing, in the midst
of the Culebra and the Tengereh, as excitement grows and bodies move in frenzied patterns, a too
liberal drink of paiwarrie causes feasting to end in fighting and then Waramurie was in danger of
He talked late into the forest night, and it seemed that we had hardly got into our hammocks
when the bell ringer came up to our hut calling us to church. The catechist walked over for us
and stated that it was necessary to hold services twice weekly as "these people" believed in
I wondered what sort of iniquity was peculiar only to Waramurie. He explained the tribal belief
in the Piaiman. Whatever happened was because of the good will or bad will of the Piaiman. If
the dogs did not scent danger in time to give a warning and a tiger sneaked out of the forest and
carried off a child, they swore that the Piaiman was at work. Whatever happened--if sickness
came- if death came suddenly- if too much rain, if not enough rain it was the Piaiman man. Oh
yes, these people believed in iniquity indeed. He didn't intend this to be funny.
It was time for the service, the men, women and children trooped in and sat and talked to each
other, quite informally. One lady had fixed her hair in four plaits and on each was a different col-
oured ribbon. It was unfortunate that the catechist had some difficulty with his "r's" and ended
all the twelve responses in a loud voice so that everyone was sure to hear "And twust in the Lawd
fow he is gwasus". It was a little impossible to be wholly reverent.
Immediately after Church followed vigorous games of rounders leaping and swimming. Then a
large meal of fruit. But we had to leave rather hurriedly to catch the tide.
Over the height of Waramurie, the breeze comes in from the river, cool and fresh smelling, and
Warrau worry seemed suddenly all blown away as the mail-boat took us back to the mouth of the
FOR A BALANCED COMMUNITY....
By H. RISELY TUCKER
B.G. can compare well with many other countries in serious reading. In the poorest homes
volumes of the classics may be found on a shelf and in the most unlikely circles will be men and
women ready to discuss serious literature. This is admirable, yet one wonders at times, here as
elsewhere, whether too literary a basis in education may not hinder the development of a fully
integrated man or society. There may indeed be a risk that study reflection and discussion may
become an escape or a compensation rather than an integral part of the all-round man. In other
words, we may keep our intellectual life and the earning of a living in water-tight compartments,
to the detriment of both.
Not so some of the thinkers of the past to whom we owe most. The attraction of Montaigne
is largely due to the fact that in his most abstract thinking he keeps one foot on solid earth while
his treatment of mundane subjects is that of the scholar and thinker who is also a practical man.
Leonardo da Vinci was a jack-of-all-trades but by no means a master of none. Pascals abstruse the-
ology may make some of us impatient, but it was his brain that fathered the calculating machine.
Shakespeare and Moliere were efficient but struggling actors before they were playwrights. The
Emile is still required for budding teachers because, one may fairly suppose, Rousseau so
stressed the need for education to be an explanation and enrichment of, rather than an escape from,
the everyday life.
One may well wonder whether the greatest contributions to our cultural stock have come from the
ivory tower or from the workshop and warehouse and which is most likely to produce that humanity
without which 'culture' is an arid thing.
Equally well may one wonder whether much of the present-day instability and hysteria is not
due to a basic error in our concept of education. Where once the ability to do, and pride in doing
well, was one of the chief aims of popular education-taking the word in its broadest sense-that
has now given way to facility in writing and, still more, reading. With what happy-go-lucky irres-
ponsibility we insist that all our children must be able to read,-that their minds shall be tilled soil
for the seeds sown by anyone who can get an article or a story published. Yet how little do we do
to train their judgment so that they may weigh what they read and distinguish between the useful
and the false. Certainly one seldom hears of a teacher encouraging his pupils to criticise his ideas
or their text-books. Yet how else can he protect them from blind uncritical acceptance of the
printed and spoken word. No wonder, then, that we have electorates everywhere so much at the
mercy of any unscrupulous politician or superficial 'economist'. In most countries primary educa-
tion is compulsory we compel our children to be ready receptacles for any words that may find
their way into print, whether helpful or pernicious. Yet, not only do we not compel them to learn a
trade but in fact we give them very slight facilities, if any, for doing so if they wish. We teach
words and inculcate a respect for words at the expense of physical skill and craftsmanship. The
victims of our error drift into the towns where many who might have been happy craftsmen
become inferior white-collar workers with no skill to protect them from unemployment and little
opportunity for pride in their work.
That free education is desirable no one can deny. Some may doubt the value of compulsory
education but the dangers of compulsory and almost exclusively literary education are beyond ques-
tion. If, on the other hand, every child were compelled to acquire skill in some practical and
constructive activity, he would be endowed for life with, in extremity, a means of earning a
livelihood, and in any qase with all the indirect benefits of craftsmanship. It might even be found
that literacy education could be made voluntary to the immense benefit of those who had the
desire for, or felt the need for it. Significantly enough, while in the least developed countries
manual skill is often rated low and manual labour looked at askance, they come into their own in
those where urbanisation and industrialisation are most advanced. Hard pressed business and
professional men are more likely to boast of their cabinet-making or tomato-growing than of their
other successes, psychiatrists urge their patients to take up a hobby and there is a noticeable drift
back to the land. The London dustman was paid more between the wars than many a qualified
The need for manual achievement is rooted deep in man, giving a satisfaction and stability
that no sophisticated amusement can. It keeps him with one foot on solid earth. For happiness all-
round, not lopsided, growth is needed and while reading enriches the mind, craftsmanship develops
honesty of character. Dishonesty and superficiality simply do not go with good craftsmanship nor
could the real craftsman be so lacking in pride as to be content with merely talking one into
accepting botched and inferior work.
One can think of a number of sturdy nations whose prosperity was built on proud craftsman-
ship and few that have been great without it. May not a re-orientation of educational policy
bring back to our civilisation a wholesomeness of character without which there is no stability?
British Guiana might profit by the change as much as any country. There are good craftsmen
- one has only to watch skilled men fell a tree, measure and saw it into planks to know that,
- but there could be a greater public appreciation of good workmanship and condemnation of the
bad. A farmer who robs his land of its fertility may himself be robbed of his crops and his son
may decide to wear a white collar as a city clerk, but all this might be prevented by a community
in sympathy with good farming because composed of men trained from childhood to honour manual
skill and craftsmanship. Such a community will attract outside capital which is always seeking
the partnership of good labour and fleeing the bad. Such a community, too, will avoid the curious
anomaly of simultaneous press appeals for immigration and for measures to alleviate unemploy-
ment. It will recognize the wisdom of more balanced distribution between town and country of
the rewards of labour and the amenities of life.
We may even be happier growing ground-nuts than writing articles so, with Candide, "Cultivons
Towards Craftsmanship- 2.
by F. SEAL COON
The English word "craft" is of Germanic origin. The modern German equivalent is "kraft",
meaning strength, and no doubt when the word was taken into the English of the time, it had
the same connotation. But by that curious alchemy which, 'when words denoting an attribute
deemed desirable by one race or nation are absorbed into the language of another, invests them with
a derogatory or disreputable significance, "craft" in modern English means, in one of its senses,
guile and cunning.
In another, and older sense, however, a "craft" is a trade or "mystery". This meaning dates,
no doubt, from the days of the Guilds, those ancient and honourable trade unions of the skilled
manual worker. A boy entered a guild at an early age after a process of selection, and had to serve
many years as an unpaid or premium-paying apprentice before he was deemed a master of his
trade and permitted to practice it for gain. Men in those days took pride in their work and ability,
and a craftsman's hand needed both strength and cunning, so that perhaps the modern divergence
of meaning is not so great after all.
The Guilds surrounded their training and practice with considerable mystery in order to
exclude outsiders and maintain their standards of workmanship. From the Middle Ages on, how-
ever, changing techniques, the advances of science and the consequent upsurge of new trades gradually
ate away the exclusivity of the original trade guilds, whilst the advent of the Industrial Age,
with its appalling impact on the labour market,finished them off with a brutal finality.
Nevertheless, in many manual, as well as the so-called "technical" trades, traditions of trained
skill remain. In some new ones, such as engineering, which grew up with a degree of early organisa-
tion, old traditions were taken over and carefully fostered. The trade unions, also, have done much
to maintain levels of skill among their members and in some organised trades the apprenticeship
system is still a recognized introduction. Unhappily, Labour's main struggle since the commence-
ment of its organisation has been in the field of wages and conditions, so that a standard of skill,
though recognized as desirable, has been lookedon more as a means of safeguarding the employ
ment of union members than as an essential end in itself.
Two wars, too, with their gigantic calls on the nations' industrial capacities, have given rise
to varying degrees of dilution even among those trades requiring the most knowledge and tech-
nique; and this has gone side by side with a rationalisation of manufacturing processes whereby
the greatest possible proportion of the work is being done by unskilled or semi-skilled workmen
with the aid of machines, leaving only the supervision and certain vital processes to the truly prac-
It will be seen, therefore, that the original conception of craftsmanship has passed away mainly
because it has lost its universality and become limited to a few among many trades; it may not
even be universal within a single trade, so complex have manufacture and production processes
become in modern times. To-day, we can say that craftsmanship in its true and full meaning is to
be found only within a few of the original trades that still survive, often as mere adjuncts of more
complex processes. This is an undeniable pity, since with the loss of specialised, personal skill
depart pride in workmanship and the self-respect and dignity of the man who knows himself to be
an esteemed and necessary member of his community. The unskilled, drifting from trade to trade
and job to job, with no security of tenure or certainty of a livelihood, cannot enjoy this satis-
faction and become disgruntled units of society the raw material of crime and revolt.
It is now being realized that the chronically unskilled man is useless, and useless to the utter-
most, since not only is he incapable of any work requiring a degree of practice, but he tends to
lose those elements of character which make for honesty, loyalty and reliability. There is coming
about in industry a revulsion against the idea of setting a foolproof machine to do a job, with a
mere mindless body to carry out the minimum operations the machine requires to keep it run-
ning. It is found that under these conditions workmen become, not only bored, disgusted and
ambitionless, but actively mischievous; therefore, the tendency is towards cultivating the minds and
intelligence of the workers, varying their tasks as much as possible and putting those who shew
keenness into positions where ability and acquired skill are called for.
It is, however, still only a tendency and such measures, even where they are adopted, are but
substitutes for the ultimate satisfactions of craftsmanship. It is the writer's opinion that, until a
far more universal practice of it is restored, one side of the nature of most men will remain unsatis-
fied. Unless a man (or a woman, for that matter, who is not fully occupied with the care of a home
and family) has some trained and developed skill which he actually uses day by day in a main and
practical sense, not merely as a pastime or hobby, he is an incomplete personality. Excepted, of
course, are those whose craftsmanship is in thefield of the intellect, though for the most part
they, too, feel the need for a manual outlet.
I have, I trust, established the desirability and the theoretical necessity, from the personal point
of view, of the possession and practice of craftsmanship. What of the necessity from the stand-
point of the community? I submit that they are equally vital, not only because out of them are
born useful and contented citizens, but because if personal skill dies out, then no amount of
machinery and mere labour can fill the void. However brilliant the scientists and planners, their in-
ventions and schemes are as naught unless there are enough men with skilled hands to put them into
practice and keep them functioning.
The degree of necessity varies, of course, with the type of society. In a highly developed, indus-
trialised community the spiritual need for craftsmanship persists, but the opportunities for its prac-
tice are likely to be relatively restricted, whilst the chances of individual survival without it are
greater owing to the present wide, if unsound, market for unskilled labour. In a more primitive,
or even a fairly civilised but non-industrial community such as is British Guiana, practically uni-
versal craftsmanship is essential. There is almost no phase of its life in which skill is not a continual
necessity, and in its absence standards of living, efficiency and morality deteriorate. All aspects of
community life are affected and no work of any kind is carried out with the optimum pride and
It is not clearly enough recognized that craftsmanship is as much an attitude of mind as it is
-manual dexterity and trained intelligence. As with all mental disciplines, this attitude is not innate
(though a predisposition may exist), neither can it be acquired in a day. It is compounded of
absolute confidence in the actual manual skill (itself no flower of a single day), pride in good workman-
ship for its own sake, and perhaps most important a resolute refusal to accept, either from
oneself or another, sub-standard work. He who can say of a poor job: "It will do" or "No one
will notice" or worst of all "It doesn't matter so long as I get paid for it" is no craftsman, and
never will be until his mental standpoint is utterly changed.
Where the traditions of craftsmanship have decayed, as they have in this Colony, the road
back is hard and long. The individual can hardly create the conditions and atmosphere in which
craftsmanship will burgeon. The innate desire for its possession may be there in both community
and individual, but it is latent and needs to be activated and fostered. For this, the corporate
expression of a society's will to organise known as Government is usually the most appropriate
means. In the case of British Guiana there is literally no other body sufficiently well placed
to initiate and carry on the heavy task, which must consist, in the early stages, of establishing
schools for the different trades, or for several allied trades under the same roof.
These technical schools, as they may be termed, would have to take apt pupils after they had been
grounded in the three R's and whose background was such that they would be unlikely to be able
to compete successfully in the "white collar" world of the Civil Service commerce and the professions.
The age of entry would probably thus be about twelve and pupils would have to undertake: a
fulltime course of at least five years before they could be certificated. This would take the place,
to a considerable extent, of the apprenticeship system obtaining elsewhere, which is hardly prac-
tical here because of (1) the necessity of earning at a comparatively early age, and (2) the lack
of sufficient established craftsmen to whom pupils could be apprenticed on leaving the schools. In-
deed, in the first respect it would probably be necessary to put the pupils in the way of earning
something from the age of say fifteen on. Part of these earnings might be taken back as fees in
order to inculcate a sense of responsibility and appreciation of their training (which young people
of all grades are ordinarily very much apt to take for granted, thus failing to extract the great-
est value from it).
In these schools would be taught a basic knowledge of the materials, their behaviour and
reactions, as well as of the techniques applicable to their use. One of the principal difficulties in
starting technical or trade schools of this type is likely to be the scarcity of qualified craftsman-
tutors and most of these would undoubtedly have to be brought from away at the beginning. This
would probably raise peculiar social and financial problems among the individuals, whilst, since the
bulk of the training would have to be provided free, the Colony itself would have to face heavy
initial expenditure. Later on, much of the cost could be nullified by a re-orientation of the present
primary school system to include the trade schools or, at any rate, their earlier grades, since the
more advanced ones might perhaps be better related to the secondary school system.
The whole burden need not, of course, fall on Government, as town and village councils might
be able to add their quota to the work, as could the denominations which at present share the
responsibility for secondary education. It is impossible, however, to visualise any other channel than
Government for building, equipping and staffing the schools in the first place and, with a change
impending in the directorship of the Education Department and an obvious educational cross-
roads immediately ahead, the moment seems to call for an urgent study of such a project.
The Poetry of Walter Mac A. Lawrence.
by A. J. Seymour
One morning in 1936, I took my courage in my hands and a little sheaf of poems I had written,
and paid a visit to Walter MacArthur Lawrence. Would he be so good as to look at some verse I had
written and tell me what he thought about it. I knew that he really was the only person who had
been writing poetry continuously for very many years and writing it seriously, because he loved to.
It was early in the morning and he was still in his pyjamas, and in the small gallery he took the
sheets of paper I had brought and read them steadily through. Looking back and remembering some
of what he said to me, in his overgenerous manner, and how he encouraged me and spoke about, his
own work, it struck me that there was a certain heroism in the way he. had written poetry in a
The times are much more favourable now and we are upon the verge of a flowering of literature,
art and drama, but for years and years little encouragement was given to literature in British Guiana,
and against this gloomy background must be estimated the positive achievement of Lawrence's
work. Beginning in the early 1920's. producing poem after poem until his death in 1942, Lawrence
experimented unceasingly with every type of verse the long narrative, the sonnet, the ode, the
rondeau, the triolet and with technical mastery. He wrote himself intc the title Grand Old Man
of Guianese poetry.
Lawrence is essentially the poet of Guiana. here is something in him which responds instantly
to her sights and sounds. He sings her woodlands and waterfalls, of Kaieteur and her forest cathe-
drals, of the sunset at Malalli: Here are some of the words he wrote that must come at the begin-
ning of any anthology of Guianese poetry:-
"O beautiful Guiana
O my lovely native land
More dear to me than all the World's
Thy sea-washed, sun-kissed strand
Or down upon the borders
Looking out upon the Deep-
The great Atlantic blown
Into a fury or asleep -
At morn, at noon or better,
In the crimson sunset's glow
I love thee, 0 I love thee "
In his work there are odes to Guiana, an allegory of Guiana; he sings even of her political and
economic labour. Lawrence had the courage to sing what he calls the Rape of the Constitution and
Guiana at the Cross-roads; verse worthy for their political, if not poetical, content, and he sang of
her in her dimmest days the depression era of the thirties. As courageously too he sings of the
greenheart and the mora and the massive timbers of Guiana.
It is as a poet of nature that Lawrence was best. His feeling for nature gives him moving
description, as the Guiana forest at moonlight:-
"The same old moon was shining as of yore 'twas wont to shine
O'er the vast primeval forest, treasuring the secret mine
Ever wrapt in brooding shadows and in calm solemnity
Like some great unlit Cathedral draped in twilight mystery."
or from his lyric: the Moonlight Fantasy. Here he writes about-
"The silent ghostly glade
Checkered by the filtered moonshine
Half in silver half in shade.
Every clump conceals its terror
Every crack an impish ghoul
Limping stealthily behind you" -
In the famous long poem Meromi, he has written his tribute to the Echo:
"Still Echo sang and sang them o'er in wildest roundelay
And flung them hither thro' the woodlands thither, far away
Then silence in the gloaming held profound and solemn reign
As if all nature paused to hear Meromi sing again.
But twilight like a rushlight only flared to fade and die
To lose its faintest crimson in the depths of crimson sky."
Morning held a fascination for him as the two next extracts tell. What I am very fond of in
Lawrence's work is the singing quality he creates.
The reluctant rain
Would pile the clouds where the day must break
Shut out the blue
And the sun from view
The silver lining whose bright beams make.
Then fall for hours
In driven showers
And if the morning must weep to wake."
"The morning's in the heavens and the morning's in my soul.
I woke and found it burning there to-day
A new world's in the making right before my very eyes
And light and colour riot all around.
From yonder blazing sundawn painting pictures in the skies
To this bejewelled carpet on the ground."
Lawrence's touch is individual. One can almost hear him reciting the lines as one reads them.
And over and over he catches the incommunicable magic of phrase as when he writes of the stars as
'The numberless eyes of heaven" or of the high endeavour "holding the volatile mind firm to the
Especially do I like a poem, "Futility", that Lawrence said he was partly ashamed of as it was
an attempt in what he called the new manner of writing. To him it seemed like his art prostituted,
he said. These are the 1st and 3rd stanzas:-
"The flowers are dead on the grave and a sad sight lay;
My token of love, you had thought and your heart had bled
As you laid them so tenderly there and behold in a day
The flowers are dead.
And as vain your love too long in the heart hid away.
Then, some of it shown in a smile or kind word said
Much more would have meant than tributes you now would pay-
The flowers are dead."
Lawrence regretted the passing of the Victorian age of poetry, the age of settled convictions and
polished unimpeachable form in which he took root. But as evidence of his poetic integrity, as a
sign that he was always contemporary, however troubled he was by the modern tradition, I quote
one of his last poems-
Not if I knew it
I would not budge
I would not lift my hand
Or suffer that my lips
One whispered word should breathe
Repining or in protest
Or lamenting o'er my lot
If one by one
The ones I loved and valued
Much more perhaps than life itself -
The ones I thought most sacred held
Human reciprocity -
Forsook me and forgot.
Lawrence's poems describe a static outlook. One does not see a searching after himself begin
in the early poems, shape slowly and come to anchor inevitably on some basic principle that is
either peculiar to himself or shared with others. The Greek goddess, Pallas Athene sprang full-
panoplied from the brain of Jove; well, Lawrence wrote from first to last with an apparatus of mind
that was fully mape up. He was conscious of the blind destiny that shapes our ends rough, no
matter how we hew them, but he was certain that at the end a Higher Grace will set them right again.
He began to write with adult certainty of a religious kind.
Time and again this religious certainty obtrudes into his work when, after long questioning on
doubts, he has reasoned his Muse into what one may call a philosophical blind-alley, and he is
staring against the wall. Then the style rises, not only because the verse is now free from these
wrestling of the spirit but because he sings from an inner faith:-
"And know that without thee the years would
bring an end to a life-long lament
For thee, only when the glad soul set free from
a life of discontent
Find all the joys it had lost in Time, perhaps
His poems are long poems, a drawback to reading in these days of radio, tabloids, short stories
and very short lyrics; and they are long for two reasons. First he emphasises the moral under-
lying his verse and he continues his emphasis almost to the extent of what we call preaching.
I believe with Flecker that the object of poetry is hot to save a man's soul, but to make it worth
Then he writes in the style of his favourite poet, Swinburne, that musician of English poetry In
following the musical arrangement of polysyllabic words, he twists and rather ekes out the matter,
sometimes at the sacrifice of the meaning, and so he breaks the principle of balance and proportion.
In his long narrative poem, "Meromi", there are long interpolations of protest against the "ultra
modern age"; and trite effects swell the chorus: lines like this creep into the poem, "Twas only simple
Nature but it meant the world to him."
However, put all that aside; I must confess my admiration at his mastery of the long Swinburnian
metres, the unfaltering manipulation that almost borders on the mechanic. One would almost wel-
come a variation at times.
In my readings of Lawrence my best true memory of Swinburne was in the line-
"Then mingle no tears of To-morrow
With sunshine and laughter to-day".
because despite his acclaim of the master Lawrence confessed he had not the inner gift, the subtlety
of Swinburne that moulds temples out of music, that builds by harp, not by axe, nor hand nor anvil
but with smitten strings.
Yet there are times when he emerges crystal c lear from his philosophic verse and sings, as here:-
"Had I the tears of a woman, and years without number to weep
Time would grow weary of watching mine anguish for thee, and sleep."
From this short introduction I was omitting the closing stanzas of Lawrence's Ode to Kaieteur,
where he has lines that come upon the reader with the power of a wall of water falling from in-
credible heights, because those stanzas have already appeared in an issue of Kykoveral.
But I looked at the poem and realized again how much majesty Lawrence has put into the words
and how much he uses the varying aspects of the waterfall as a stimulus to something greater than
itself, the human spirit, and I could not but use them again.
The last line is perhaps Lawrence's legacy to the tradition of Guianese poetry that he adorns.
ODE TO KAIETEUR.
And falling in splendour sheer down from the height
that should gladden the heart of an eagle to scan, -
That lend to the towering forest beside thee
the semblance of shrubs trimmed and tended by man, -
That viewed from the brink where the vast amber volume
that once was a stream cataracts into thee,
Impart to the foothills surrounding the maelstrom
beneath thee that rage as the troublous sea,
The aspect of boulders that border a pool
in the scheme of a rare ornamentalist's plan,
Where, where is the man that before thee is thrilled not -
that scorneth the impulse to humble the knee,
With the sense of thy majesty resting upon him,
and conscious of flouting some terrible ban?
Who, who can behold thee, O glorious Kaieteur,
let down as it were from the fathomless blue,
A shimmering veil on the face of the mountain
obscuring its flaws from inquisitive view,
Retouched with the soft, rosy glow of the morning
and freaking the flow of desultory light,
Or bathed in the brilliant translucence of noontide
a mystical mirror resplendently bright.
Or else in the warm, sanguine glory of sunset,
a curtain of gold with the crimsoning hue
Of the twilight upon it or drenched in the silvery
flood of the moonlight subliming the night,
And feel not the slumbering spirit awaking
to joy in the infinite greatly anew?
The British Guiana Dramatic Society.
The British Guiana Dramatic Society was formed by a group of young Indian men and women
under the parental guidance of Hon. Dr. and Mrs. J. B. Singh.
The Society was inaugurated on 10th March, 1937, at "Ayodhya", the home of Dr. and Mrs. Singh,
just after the second staging of "Savitri" a profound Hindu love-drama from the epics of India.
The chief aims and objects are to bring to its members the glorious culture of India, and to interpret
to the West the drama, music and art of the East. All persons of Indian descent and the wife or hus-
band of a member are eligible for membership.
During the twelve years of existence, this Society has endeavoured to adhere to its aims and
objects by staging plays, sponsoring musical and dramatic and social evenings, lectures and debates.
The year's main feature is the Annual Play.
PATRON-DRAMATIST, RABINDRANATH TAGORE.
Year by year the Society presents Indian plays written by Indian dramatists. Our patron-drama-
tist is Sri Rabindranath Tagore, a noble son of India from whose pen the sublimest love-dramas
have flowed. Tagore is well-known, not only in the East, but also in the West where his works
are appreciated and gained for him the coveted Nobel Prize. Many of our play-patrons and lovers
of drama are well acquainted with Tagore's "Chitt a," "Malini," "Gora," adapted from Tagore's novel of
the same name by Dr. Hardutt Singh, "Red Oleanders," and "The King and Queen."
SOCIETY'S TOP FEMALE STARS
To-day we have members who have acquitted themselves very favourably on the stage. Rating
at the top are Chandrawati Singh, who portrayed Malini and vied with Compton Pooran for top
honours in "Gora". Thelma Mahadeo (Kawall) heroine of "The Little Clay Cart," and supporting
actress of other plays. Nellie Singh who has always excelled in supporting roles and Sheila Mohamed.
Miss Mohamed, regardless of her youth, can safely be called "the veteran actress" of our Society. At
a very tender age she portrayed the Chieftain's daughter, Ila, in the Society's first play "The King
and Queen," and since then she has danced in our plays, was the heroine Sucharita of "Gora",
and played supporting roles in "Asra", "Maharani of Arakhan." For the Society's contribution to
the Union of Cultural Clubs' Second Annual Convention, she filled Ena Gariba's role of Savitri.
Mention must also be made of our actresses Leela Doobay (Chitra), Savitri Kawall (Maharani of Ara-
...... AND OUR ACTORS
Now for our actors it is a problem to pick out the best for they have all been good, but
undoubtedly special mention must be made of Akbar Khan, a founder member of the Society,
who shared starring honours with Thelma Kawall in "The Little Clay Cart..' He is a good character
actor and his versatility has earned him the position of being one of the Society's best. He also took
part in "Malini." Harry Kawall made his name in the pre-B.G.D.S. days in the second staging of
"Savitri." He played the coveted role of Yama King of Death. In "The King and Queen"
(1937 and "Malini", he was the hero and filled a supporting role in "Red Oleanders". Guya Per-
saud, Hari Singh and Hardutt Singh, are in a special category. They filled their roles with ease
and dignity. Guya Persaud, in the Society's staging of "Savitri", portrayed the dynamic
role of Yama- King of Death. He excelled in his portrayal and the thunderous applause which
followed his exit was justly evident that he had stolen the show. Hari Singh starred in our Domin-
ion Status Day Play "Chitra" by Rabindranath Tagore. In the role of the Prince Arjuna, brave
and beloved hero of India's "Mahabharata," he showed his latent talent and displayed a Mason-
like conception of acting. Hardutt Singh was Neila's father in "Asra", written by Basil Balgobin,
a Guianese aspirant, and as the tyrannical Shah of Arakan, in the "Maharani of Arakan." To
say that he was superb would be ironical, for what would you expect of the "Society's Director"?
Others very worthy of mention are Joel Pollard, Hewly Kailan, Compton Pooran, N. C. Janki and
In the line of Indian music there is somewhat of a lag among our members to learn the instru-
ments of our Motherland. We have Maselall Pollard, a member, and Mr. Omar and Paltoo Das,
friends of the Society, who always respond to our call for music. But that is not enough. We want
members to play the instruments, the Sitar, Esraj, Mhirdhang (drum), Tabla, so that we could have
our own orchestra. There is no dearth of singers and there is a scheme ahead to revive this music,
in the Society.
FOR BETTER UNDERSTANDING ......
The Society's policy has never been a selfish one for we have shared proceeds of our entertain-
ments with war charities and other charitable cases, generously subscribed to the East Indian Asso-
ciation's Building Fund and given a helping hand wherever our eleven years' experience would
prove helpful. Our members firmly believe that peace and goodwill can only be realized when the
nations of the earth understand the other's outlook and viewpoint of life. Therefore members are
striving, in their little way, to acquaint their sister communities in British Guiana with the cus-
toms, traditions and beliefs of the Indian community. Why should there be a hotch-potch of the
cultures of the Guianese communities to form a Guianese Culture? Let us strive to uphold the
cultures of our own races- interpret them to the other races and we shall live in peace and har-
mony mutually respecting each other's ways and means of life.
Our Pleasant Countryside.
by ERIC ROBERTS
Unlike the towns, the raw backlands do not boast of modern amenities on a very large scale;
no electricity, sewerage, up-to-date cinemas, no continuous and various form of entertainment. To
them, cosmetics are negligible concerns, and however crude their appearance may at times, they at
all times possess one characteristic in common the love of the soil.
Let us at this moment take some time off, and get away from the hustle and bustle of City
life, and take a brief trip to the Countryside, taking as our object of interest, one of those villages on
the Coast which seems remote and sparsely populated, boasting of a mere handful of people, the
remnants of what we may call a once thriving community.
Having in our possession the light little craft otherwise known as a "ballahoo", and equipped
with a paddle or two, we shall now proceed up the canal or trench, for a little bit of adventure
up to its source. It is now a few hours past noon, and the weather has the indication of holding
out, there are patches of dull black clouds, but with the breeze continuing to blow as it does now,
we shall not welcome any further fears.
There are humble dwellings on either side of us, a good many of them with thatched roofs; and
walls painted with mud while others have boards, old and decaying, which have withstood the ele-
ments for as much as two or more generations. From outside they appear crude and inhospitable,
but once inside, we seem to forget the incompleteness of their surroundings. Here we meet the vil-
lagers in their own natural way, generous, helpful, and simple in their tastes. For the moment we
forget about modern furniture and conveniences, being so enrapt with the sympathetic considera-
tions of our humble hosts. Here with a dignity all their own, they would tell us about the tradi-
tions of the family life, and lay bare to us the circumstances which surrounded the family. They
would tell their bitter experiences, flood, drought, pestilence, three things about which only they
throughout their lives would be able to speak on the havoc wrought, and the disasters which they
have suffered from time immemorial.
Yet it is wonderful how they remain unmoved with the passing of one dreadful year after another.
They pin their whole outlook upon the thought, that all these disruptions and vicissitudes are the
work of the Creator, and mankind is not righteous enough to deserve better. They accept the disas-
trous years with faith and fortitude, and rejoice in the brief period of good and plenty, whenever
it arises. Their tastes are by no means simple, and their wants are at all times peace and contentment.
As we take our departure from amongst these wonderful people, we cannot help wondering at
the contrast between their homes, and those who occupy them. They deserve no pity rather they
We continue on our way, and holding the straight course of the canal, we pass the last human
habitation of the village. In front of us is the stretch of uncultivated land which serves as pas-
turage for the herd of cattle, and the small flocks of sheep, which have survived the rains and the
floods, and the lurking crows, which, whenever, unmolested, swoop down upon them, and devour
the new-born progeny. Their numbers are not so considerable, yet they seem to scatter all over
it, some grazing, while others are taking shelter from the rays of the sun, under the trees, which
limit the boundaries of the pasture. They are not alone: for among them are the black birds, and
here and there the red breast ot the Robin would attract our attention. .We have now reached the
end of this verdant patch of land, where sheep lie at peace and bleat within the afternoon air, and
the cows chew their cuds, while the sun creeps slowly towards the horizon. Beyond here there
is nothing more of importance to win our fancy, save the bush and the foliage, which have become
almost impenetrable, and which form an arch over this silent waterway that nears its end. Here
in this part of the Country, man has been prone to neglect, having satisfied himself with a suffi-
cient portion, which had well served his needs. Here in the days of former ancestors, great and
populous communities had sprung up and those seeds, which today have merged as giant trees,
were swiftly brushed aside, in order to cultivate food for their livelihood. Here were orchards,
which have borne fruit in their time, and in which children have spent the greater part of the
day collecting, during the harvest seasons. Yet all these have been obscured by the passing of
Time, and those who were children then, are today sleeping within the bosom of the soil, having
grown to maturity, as men and women.
Now we must make our journey homewards, for we have touched the source of this historic
waterway, and have seen the shovel's last imprint on the fertile soil. In a few moments the sun
will be lost in the horizon, while the noisy chattering of the parrots, serve to remind us that the
time is up for us to make our departure from the tranquil and peaceful atmosphere of the back-
lands. Here we pass, first the overhanging foliage and then come again on the wide stretch of
pasture-land, on which sheep, cows and birds, thrive in harmony. It is now around dusk, and those
humble dwellings have all been lit by the lamps on the walls, and their bright beams are making
their penetration though the open crevices.
At last we are at our landing, and returning the worthy little craft to the owner with thanks,
we tidy ourselves for a good dinner. We have decided to spend the night here, and from the buzz-
ing of the mosquitoes, they seem to appreciate the idea feasibly. The journey has made us some-
what sleepy, and we have to retire to bed in order to be up early in the morning.
In a few hours once more the day bears the hustle and stirring of the Countryside. The singing
of the birds and the crowing of the cocks, are indeed an inspiration for starting off the day in the
best of spirits. Those fishermen from the sea have just brought in their catch, and are parcelling
them out at the market-place. The milkman comes round to give his customers their supply of
milk, and the little boys and girls, are either attending the fowls, or feeding the pigs. Yes, another
day has begun, and the familiar sight of traversing over mud and quagmire continues again. Those
for the farm, are making live preparation, and are baling out the boats, and putting in whatever
they would need for the trip; while those who must make their sojourn into the City are busy
making up their loads, and listing all the items which they must purchase in it.
The time has now come for us to make our departure from this small portion of our pleasant
Countryside, leaving its peace and quietness and return again to the hustle and bustle and chaos of
the town. Here I must once more gaze upon all that I have already reviewed--the pasture land
with its short blades of green grass, and the animals and birds, which solicit its hospitality. The
almost impenetrable foliage, which once had given food and plenty, and happiness to those past
generations, which have tilled its soil, and thosehumble dwellings, weather-beaten and aged beyond
repair, and which give shelter to the remnants of aonce populous village.
Here is part of our pleasant Countryside, and which like all others has its history written in
floods, rains, and pestilence. They have that characteristic in common-the love for the Soil-the
soil which gave them birth-and to which they must all return. There are not many young ones
left in this village, and soon, perhaps, these humble dwellings that i now fix in my gaze, would
become foliage like the rest of it, and what is the pasture-land of To-day, may be the dense jungles
of To-morrow. No longer would there be cattle and sheep, but wild animals, enjoying the repose
of what is now, man's proud domain.
In the meantime this village, like all the rest of our pleasant Countryside, will continue in its
own traditional way of life-to plant its crops, to reap them, and to attend its stock amidst the ero-
sion of Time and Nature.
To make what feeble attempts within their inconsiderate means, to resist the rains the floods
and the pestilence, which throughout the past years of its existence, have been its most formidable
adversaries. Yet amidst these recurring vicissitudes, it will not forsake the Church, which has ever
been the centre of its communal life; and which has been that fountain of Courage and Fortitude,
at all times visible in its Character. Yes, our pleasant Countryside will exist alongside that of a
fast and deteriorating material world-planting, and reaping the returns of the good Soil, and cheer,
fully thanking the Giver, with the song of Harvest.
West Indian Mosaic
AS OTHERS SEE US.
Not since the days of the Greek city states have there been communities in which the funda-
mental problems of human society present themselves so clearly, so intensely and in so personal a
form as in the West Indies. The parallel is not fortuitous. The Caribbean is the only region in
which Europe, Africa and Asia meet. In the ancient world they met in the Aegean and there issued
from their meeting the superb civilisation of Greece. Who can say what lofty Caribbean destiny is
now beginning to weave itself on the loom of time?
One of the strongest and most discouraging impressions carried away by the investigator in the
West Indies in that of a prevailing absence of a spirit of independence and self-help, the lack of a
tradition of craftsmanship and pride in good work, and a tendency on all matters to appeal to Gov-
ernment for assistance with little or no attempt to explore what can be done by individual self-help.
Isolated individuals may rise above this-many do--but the spirit is lacking except in some of the
very small island communities. Without some such tradition no amount of external and governmental
help will create a sound and self-perpetuating social tradition. It is true that the history of the West
Indies explains and accounts for this pauperisation; and we feel that it is incumbent upon the people of
Britain to do what they can to help. But in the last resort the success or failure of any programme
of social reform and betterment will depend on a definite and prolonged effort on the part of West
Indians to help themselves even while accepting help. The material betterment of the West In-
dies must be accompanied by, and is to a large extent conditional on a moral resurgence among the
WEST INDIA ROYAL COMMISSION
The saddling of the West Indian Colonies with medical, educational, housing and other social ser-
vices whose development may be brought to a halt by their own financial weight or involve
the necessity for permanent external aid would be dis-service to the people. Caution has,
therefore, had to be exercised in making recommendations for expenditure under the Colonial De-
velopment and Welfare Act, in spite of the danger that such caution may be misunderstood or mis-
represented as meanness unless the public are aw are, if not of all the details, at least of the main
features of its situation. *
The object of the work so far performed has been to assist West Indian peoples towards a better
understanding of their problems and towards better standards of life and improved social services
which are based on an economic structure which can support them.
SIR FRANK STOCKDALE, 1944.
Public discussion does not take the place of ha rd thinking by trained minds, and it is the trained
West Indian that the West Indies need first of all. But he in his turn will be powerless in reform
and development, particularly on unorthodox lin es, unless he can obtain public consent. The two
poles of West Indian progress are the training of West Indians and the organized education of public
A new spirit has manifested itself in recent years among many of the younger West Indians.
They are anxious to develop form of self-expression that are not merely imitative. The welfare
movement, with its handicrafts and community organization, provides the vehicle for a widespread
popular impulse by offering possibilities for personal and communal fulfilment that are both new and
SIR JOHN MACPHERSON, 1946.
The peoples of the West Indies are not mere "grievance-mongers". They have managed to ar-
rive at as least as good a day-to-day solution of the problem of race as any other people in the world,
and a much better one than most, particularly their neighbours in North America. They have
managed to build for themselves a social life of much charm and uniqueness in surroundings of un-
speakable squalor- and want. Their social life exhibits a remarkable degree of vitality at a time
when there are far too many signs of decadence visible in the modern world.
To anyone who feels despondent about the destiny of man in the twentieth century, collabora-
tion with the upsurging youth of the West Indies will come as a refreshing tonic. If West Indians
demand much from the world, they have much to contribute. They must learn to understand their
obligations in this regard, and to occupy with destiny and responsibility the position they have won
for themselves in the international comity of peoples.
The proportion of the West Indian peoples who have managed to achieve a middle-class status for
themselves has necessarily been small, since an agricultural as distinct from an industrial economy
has only a small need for, and cannot support large numbers of, the professional people and persons
engaged in business and public administration who form the bulk of the middle classes elsewhere.
That so many succeeded in doing so, despite the overwhelming odds, is a great tribute to the vital-
ity of the peoples who have emerged from the racial melting-pot of the West Indies during the last
two centuries. The West Indian middle classes have shown that they can hold their own with the
middle classes anywhere.
Perhaps the most urgent of the social problems of the West Indies is, indeed, the winning of the
confidence of young, intelligent and well-educated people by the leaders of West Indian communi-
ties, and the enlisting of their energies in the task of rebuilding the societies in which they live.
If the prevailing tendency is still to attempt to imitate a foreign way of life, encouraging signs
of a departure in another direction were plainly visible in 1945. Remarkable developments had taken
place in local schools of painting in Trinidad and in Jamaica, and it was obvious from the works
which formed part of local exhibitions that artists found inspiration in the local scene, did not shrink
from portraying Negroid. characteristics, and even took pleasure in evolving their own technique for
the purpose of attaching a special significance to them. This was also true in more limited degree of
West Indian poetry and literature. A West Indian culture was in process of formation, and a cer-
tain pride in the fact of being a West Indian was evident.
The most pressing task of the immediate future is to assist West Indian communities to build for
themselves a culture in which they can 'rest', and of which they can be justifiably proud. The chief
barrier to stability in the social structure has come from the imposing of standards from the outside
world, which are a crushing burden for West Indian peoples to bear.
There can be no doubt whatever that slow advances are surest in 'nation building'; it is the
rapid advance achieved by the plausible enthusiast which is most to be suspected and feared.
The key to the whole problem probably lies, on the one hand, in the generation of a sufficiently
powerful dynamic force within the West Indian communities to carry them forward in the task of
rebuilding society, and, on the other, in the making of an approach to the West Indian people on
behalf of Great Britain which will restore the sadly depleted fund of confidence in British adminis-
It is now becoming clear that one of the primary social problems of the twentieth century is
that of race, and it is hoped that the discussions of the social problems of the West Indies have a
particularly important part to play in the future development of social relationships, for the peculiar
history and physical characteristics of the West Indies have brought together peoples from every con-
tinent in such a way as to lead to the gradual growth of sound race relations.
T. S. SIMEY.
Sketch for a History...
GLIMPSES OF KINGSTON.
by JOY W. SMALL
THE BEGINNINGS OF KINGSTON
One of the earliest records we have of Kingston which is now Ward No. 1 in Georgetown. appears
in Dr. Pinkard's "Letters", where he describes "An English village contiguous to fort and camp
with neat good houses, painted white, on brick foundations and covered with wallaba shingles." This
letter was dated April, 1796. It is generally agreed that the village was named after the capital of
Kingston was the military centre of the Colony, so probably the first people to build houses there
were officers from the garrison. Here, also, lived the Garrison Chaplain, for many years the only
English clergyman in the Colony. But men who had their business houses in the other township of
Stabroek soon found it a good idea to make their homes in this pretty little village where they could
enjoy the refreshing sea breezes, new houses, and interesting neighbours. Dr. Pinkard states that the
rents paid for a house in Kingston at that time varied from 5 to 20 per month.
A visitor to the Colony during the late 18th century, driving up what is now High Street, which in
his day Dr. Pinkard describes as a good carriage road, would probably ask about a rambling building
with broad galleries, built almost on the beach, on the site of the present Round House. This was
Camp House, at one time the residence of the Governor.
North of Eve Leary, we read of two plantations, Kierfield and Sandy Point, but by 1804 these
had been entirely washed away.
The foreshore was covered with courida swamp, with the exception of the strip extending from
Fort William Frederick to Camp Street. This Sandy stretch was the scene of many a duel fought
by the gentlemen of the time, and later of band concerts by the band of the West India Regiment.
Horse racing could also be seen on the beach prior to the use of D'Urban Race Course in 1829.
An interesting little building stood half a mile east of Fort William Frederick. This was the Block
House, which, besides serving as a signal station for vessels arriving, was a base for sending sema-
phore messages by relays along the East Coast to Berbice.
ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO
By 1848, the little village of Kingston had grown considerably. In 1830, the temporary wooden
structure which had served as lighthouse from 1817 was replaced by the present lighthouse. Richard
Schomburg, writing of his travels between 1840 and 1844, says-
"After climbing the 140 steps leading to the gallery, a wonderful panorama unexpectedly came
into view. Dumb with surprise and delight, the eye swent over the heaving and billowy seas as
far as the distant horizon where Earth and Heaven met; light fishing-boats pitched and tossed
upon the ruffled waves, to disappear a moment later, while a ponderous coaster would skim its
way through them. Below, there glared at me the thick forest of masts and flying flags. Spread-
ing itself before my delighted gaze was the city with its nice wooden gaudily-painted houses, its
overtopping churches and Public Buildings, its thousands upon thousands of slender palms, its
broad busy streets, and its many canals that ran through it like so many veins."
The same writer continues-
"Near the Fort rises the Lighthouse tower, east of which the beautiful but unoccupied Camp
House, the residence of former Governors, who in those days were also the Troop-commanders,
peeps clandestinely through the thick foliage of giant trees, the lovely, large and roomy Eve
Leary Barracks are attached to it, and the two Military Hospitals border the immense parade
ground .... A shady alley-way of thickly-leaved trees and slender palms leads to the blessed God's
acre for the officers, the soldiers' cemetery being on the farther side of the Barracks."
The barracks described here were erected in 1837. Rodway, in his "Story of. Georgetown", says
that these fine spacious barracks for the troops had replaced the poor confined ones formerly in use,
where soldiers were crowded to an unmerciful degree in hammocks.
The first, and still the only church in Kingston, is the Methodist Church, which was opened in
1831. The first chapel was a much smaller building than the present church, but on the same site.
The soldiers at the Barracks often held church parade there, and sailors and fishermen also helped to
make up the congregation.
The first Bishop of Guiana, appointed in 1842, lived in "Kingston House" on the same site as
the present "Austin House", but built nearer the road. "Austin House" itself was not erected until
In 1848, great excitement was caused by the opening of the Railway Line from Georgetown to
A few years later there was excitement of another kind when the population of Kingston began
to be much concerned over the encroachment of the sea, and an earth dam was commenced along the
shore. This, however, proved no barrier to the waters which, in 1855, flooded the whole of Kingston,
in places to a depth of four feet. The higher land at the railway line marked the boundary of the
flood. Rodway states-"Camp House was abandoned, its stables and cowsheds swept away, the
Lighthouse liable to be undermined." A local rhymer of the time produced the following-
"Be sober, my muse, and with gravity tell
What sad havoc and ruin all Kingston befell,
How the sea swept away all the dam and its smouses,
Made canals of the streets, Noah's arks of the houses;
How some bridges blew up, how some houses came down,
And together went wandering over the town."
That year, the building of the Sea Wall commenced in earnest, as can be seen from the tablet
west of the Round House on the Sea Wall, on which is the following inscription:-
was commenced at the Battery
and was completed to this point
The work continued for many years, and in 1882, was completed as far as Kitty. A second
tablet east of the Round House records this.
In 1860, the Town Council erected two large tanks next the Church to provide water for schools
and poor people in times of drought .
The Governor's Pond near the Sea Wall is probably a result of the practice of digging clay for sea
defence dams. A suggestion that it should be filled in was altered, and in 1940, the sides were con-
creted instead. This pond has proved a great attraction for boys with model sailing boats, and is a
beauty spot on a moonlight night when the stately palm trees on the east side are reflected in the
KINGSTON IN 1948
During the last twenty-five years, much of the old Kingston has disappeared, and many changes
have been caused by the Second World War.
In 1924, what was left of Fort William Frederick was dismantled in order that the Petroleum
Bond could be erected on the same site. Up to 1940, an imposing line of twenty-two cannons still pro-
vided an excuse for the name of "Fort", and at the same time were used as playthings by children.
But the war came along, and twenty-one of them were sold to a Canadian munition firm.
One gun remains pointing out to the river. This is the "8 o'clock gun" which Schomburg men-
tions in his writing of more than one hundred years ago.-
"Just as the firing of cannon had signalled the onset of night, a similar one notified the break-
ing of day; the Reveille sounded through the yet silent city streets and recalled to life fresh
energies and renewed activities."
This firing of a gun at 5 a.m. and 8 p.m. a reminder of slave days was discontinued in 1939
through the shortage of gunpowder. (The firing of the gun at 5 a.m. had stopped before that time.)
Formerly the offices of the Howard Humphreys Corporation, the bath hut east of the Bond was
taken over by the Town Council for this purpose in the nineteen twenties or thirties.
The former Immigration Depot near the Sea Wall was built in 1881, and the passer-by could
always see in the compound, crowds of East Indians who were staying there prior to their return
to India. During the war, the building was taken over for military purposes. The bottom flat is at
present used as the office of the District Commissioner, Georgetown.
Other points of interest on the Sea Wall are the Bandstand, elected by public subscription in
1903 as a memorial of Her late Majesty Queen Victoria, and the Koh-i-noor Shelter nearby, which is
the outcome of a memorial paper of the Diamond Jubilee edited by Miss Webber.
An imposing memorial of the last war is a concrete pillar near the Round House on which
used to be a small look-out shelter, complete with anti-aircraft gun. After the war, the pillar was
left standing and the following inscriptions put on it.
The Royal Regiment Artillery
B.G. Coast Battery.
World War 1939-1945
Fifty years ago, it was not possible to get into Cowan Street from Fort Street. The road was
blocked by an old Dutch well, which has since been filled in, and the road built over. Perhaps it was
this well which gave the name of Spring Alley to our Fort Street.
A building which has changed hands many times is the present Education Department, which
formerly housed the Public Works Department Head Office. The building has been used as military
barracks, and as a dwelling house.
The north east corner of this same site, now a promising kitchen garden, was formerly the site of
Kingston Anglican School dismantled many years ago.
During the war, the vacant piece of land near the Lighthouse was cleared of its large trees for the
erection of the United States Organisation Headquarters, which caused an unusual amount of traffic
in the district, especially on party nights. The building has since been taken over by the Govern-
ment for use as the Public Works Department Head Office.
A landmark in Kingston is the huge inolassestank inWater Street which was erected by the Pure
Cane Molasses Company in 1931. Next door is the Electric Company Power House, erected in 1937.
Another interesting building is St. Joseph's Mercy Hospital, formerly the private nursing home
known as "Colonna House", and before that a dwelling house famous for its 99 windows.
Kingston, the "pretty little village" of 1796, is now a compact, built-in residential ward of the
city of Georgetown. It has shared the improvements enjoyed by the rest of the city-better roads,
tramcars while they lasted, first gas, and now electricity. But a view of the city from the lighthouse
to-day would not be very different from that described by Schomburg in 1840; and the houses in
Kingston are still "neat good houses, painted white" as described by Dr. Pinkard.
By J. A. V. BOURNE
THE shutters rattled and awoke me from a pleasant dream. Outside, blackbirds were chirp-
ing and the wind soughed breezily in the casuarina trees. Light began to stream through the jalousies.
I got up and pushed open the window. Our bungalow was situated on a hilly crest overlooking
the Atlantic Ocean, and the loveliness of the scene spread out below always thrilled me.
Far away the rising sun made a golden path across the pale sea and breakers rolled majestically
towards the beach. The roar of the sea never ceased and the cool wind blew freshly sweeping
the misty salt air across the rocks.
So Tuesday had come at last. A feeling of sadness disturbed me as I remembered.
Morning after morning the sun had risen over that rocky promontory tinting the cloud pattern
with silver-gold. This last morning the beauty of the sun-rise was more entrancing than ever.
It seemed only yesterday we had come to this delightful seaside village, Bathsheba. But two
months had gone by. Time had a way of passing swiftly here, as if the days, too, were being blown
past like clouds on the wings of the wandering breeze.
And now, our last day had come!
I peeped into the other bedroom.
Johnnie was still asleep, curled up happily on his pillow. His tanned skin and apple cheeks
showed how he had enjoyed his holiday. Six years old last October, what did the future hold for
Clever at school, a good memory, very observ ant too and soft-spoken, his natural manners should
help him along the hard pathway of life.
He stirred in his sleep and muttered something. Dreaming? What was the little fellow thinking
of? His sailing boat? Or the marmalade he liked with his tea, or his sums?
All day long he would be talking about figures, even when he played soldiers with the shells he
picked up on the beach. I was glad he liked figures. It showed an orderly mind.
The boy turned over and stretched himself and then suddenly he was up and standing by the
side of his cot, rubbing his eyes.
Did he remember to-day was Tuesday, I wondered?
He went to the window and pushed it open gazing out to sea for a moment, then came back
Lo the bedside and kneeled down.
It was inquisitive of me to watch him unawares, but the little fellow was so interesting. Now,
he would be saying the prayers his mother taught him. Soon, he stood up and began to fumble with
the pyjama buttons, humming a calypso song he had heard some nights before.
There was a brightening in the sky and a shaft of glorious sunlight streamed into the bed-
room. Time to get moving, I said to myself or we'llbe late for the bus.
Johnnie opened wide the bedroom door and called out:
"Morning, daddy! Taking a last bath?"
He loved the sea and the beach and the wind's song. To search for rare shells in the early morn-
ing was a great enjoyment to him.
.And now, it was finished!
A last bath!
Back. to school. Back to the monotonous routine of work. No more building castles on the sand,
or dreaming lazily on the couch in the verandah watching the clouds weave fantastic shapes over
the blue ocean.
The joys of .unpacking that first day we came here. The choosing of rooms and stocking up
of the larder! The happy chattering of his mother and sister as they arranged things. Then, the
hurried afternoon tea afterwards -the eager stroll on the beach.
Followed a round of daily pleasures, early baths in the shadowed water of the pool, long
tramps along the rocky coast, or fishing in a quiet pond, or just basking in the sunshine ....
.And day-dreaming in sleepy grass
Hear the cool lapse of hours pass .....
One glorious, morning a beautiful sunrise gave promise of a fine day. Away in the distance fish-
ing boatpsploughed through the opening in the reef and sailed out to sea. A gentle breeze was blowing.
On the hills goats nibbled grass and white fleecy clouds speckled the blue sky.
It was a perfect day for a ramble and after an hour's walk we had reached the beach at Dog
Johnnie was thrilled as for the first time he watched the breakers, crowned with white foam,
dash wildly over the great Rock, flinging spray high into the air.
Fascinated, we had both sat on the mossy bank, watching for hours the sportiveness of the
ocean waves. Time had passed swiftly .. .and the sun was nearly overhead when we reluctantly
started back for home and lunch.
What happy memories!
And now, it was all over!
"Yes, Johnnie, a last dip in the pool," I answered.
His love of water was a passion. Let him but catch sight of a puddle or of rain gushing from
a water-spout and he would shout with estacy. But his greatest joy was to splash about in the
"bishops" pool under the overhanging rock.
John .not only thought of it all day, he- dreamed of it by night, and would tell many a tale of
mermaids coming up and. blowing in their shells and of great dolphins swimming and diving in
the depths, exaggerated a hundred times in the lively imagination of his thoughts.
Would he remember these halcyon-days wnen he grew up to manhood?
.Later on, when we returned from the pool greatly refreshed seven o'clock was striking.
The bus would soon be here now. In a few minutes time we would be over the hills. ....
the sound of the waves breaking on the beach would slowly die away like music that fades
. . to silence! and Bathsheba would become just a memory!
STuesday was on its way.
NOTES AND JOTTINGS.
To those in Georgetown with intellectual curiosity, the first quarter of 1948 brought an unusual
succession of influences from various parts of the world.
The most important of the visiting lecturers was a little brown man from India, Pandit Rishi
Ram, who delivered in the Town 'Hall and elsewhere, a series of striking and thoughtful public
lectures on philosophy and religion. His audiences which crowded the Town Hall to capacity, some-
times thrice to the week, consisted of men and women of all ages and of all walks of life. Obvi-
ously speaking English as a secondary language and in a thin typically Eastern voice, this little
self-composed man threw a spell over the people who listened to him. He was telling them always
of the hunger of their souls, of goodness and love as the ideas upon which this Universe is founded,
of the world as a joy creation, of the spiritual basis of international relationships, of the incessant
striving of the human soul to attain the Infinite and its refusal to be satisfied with finite substi-
tutes, of the need to purge ourselves of our desires, of the five aspects of Truth common to all
great religions, of Knowledge, Beauty and Action as the great roads along which the human spirit
could journey to God.
His audiences asked him questions on the fundamental ideas he had raised and he answered
them unassumingly with the subtlety habitual to a one-time principal of a theological college.
Patently the questions were nothing new to him for he had answered them or others of their type
on his public lecture tours in London, South Africa and the West Indies
The feeling of the complete absorption of a crowd in the words of the lecturer made one ima-
gine that it must have been something like thatwhen centuries ago a greater One spoke to crowds
about their souls on the shores of the Galilean lake.
During the same period, March and April, a young English artist, John Harrison, was lectur-
ing weekly to a small group of practising artists and other interested, on the origins of modern
art, the work of Picasso and Gauguin, and the painting now being done in England.
Harrison had studied at Oxford and lived for years with the painters and critics of the Parisian
schools, and he had come as Arts and Exhibitions Officer of the British Council to give expert infor-
mation to the artists in British Guiana. Based on Jamaica, his services were available to all the
British Council representatives in the Caribbean.
In April also, three professors on the staff of the West Indian University College spent a week
in British Guiana for the purpose of interviews and goodwill lectures.
On Monday, April 5, Professor Millot of the Zoology department gave a fascinating talk to a
selective audience in the Oswald Parry Hall, Bishops' High School on Animal Wonders of the Sea;
while on Thursday, April 8, in the same Hall, Mr. P. M. Sherlock, Director of Extra-Mural Studies,
gave a lecture on the policy of the University College and showed lantern picture projections of
plans of the University buildings.
Mr. Bernard Williams, Dean of the Medical School and Mr. Sherlock broadcast on April 11,
a discussion between them on the first batch of medical students taking up residence in the Uni-
versity in October, 1948, and the arrangements that had been made for their training. Professor
Millot was radio interviewed on the nature of his specialty, Zoology, and the value to the West
Indies of training in that field of knowledge.
On Tuesday, April 6, all three professors met a specially summoned meeting of the B.G. Union
of Cultural Clubs at the Georgetown Public Free Library, and representatives of the Union's clubs
took the opportunity to discuss with them several aspects of the University's work, especially that
connected with the Extra Mural department.
The people of Georgetown also welcomed in April, for a few days, Baillie Robertson. Baillie
Robertson, C.B.E., LL.D., J.P., had previously flown to Australia and New Zealand on a tour of
lectures on the Local Government system of Great Britain and at its conclusion the sponsoring body,
the British Council, invited her to deliver three lectures in British Guiana
These were all delivered in the Town Hall, Georgetown; on April 10, the subject was "Our
responsibilities as Citizens" with Mr. M. B. Laing, C.M.G., Commissioner of Local Government as
Chairman. On April 11, Lady Woolley took the chair and Baillie Robertson spoke on the part
women could play in civic life, while on April 13, the subject was "The work of the Scottish
Council for Health Education."
In collaboration with the Combined Cultural Committee of the Royal Agricultural and Com-
mercial Society, the Union Clubs and the British council a course of 10 lectures and practical work
of two hours duration was held at the Geological Survey Department, Georgetown. Classes were
held on Monday and Thursday evenings, commencing on Monday, 15th December, 1947, but excluding
Thursday, 25th December, 1947, and Thursday, 1st January, 1946.
Seventeen persons enrolled for the classes and the average attendance at the classes num-
bered about 15. These included 5 gold and diamond prospectors and 7 officers of the Lands and Mines
Department. The lectures and demonstrations were conducted by the Director, Senior Geologist,
Geologist and Scientific Assistant of the Department assisted by four junior members of the staff,
all of whom were in attendance almost throughout the course.
The equipment for the classes consisted of a simple "Blowpipe set" for each student made up
from equipment purchased by the Combined Cultural Committee at a cost of about $105 supple-
mented by Departmental equipment and mineral collections when necessary.
The lectures dealt with General Geology, the origin and uses of minerals and the methods used
in the identification of rocks and minerals, and particular attention was paid to the geology and
minerals of British Guiana.
The British Council Representative, the Commissioner of Lands and Mines, and Dr. F. Dixey,
Director of Colonial Geological Surveys paid visits to the classes. The latter gave a brief address
to the students.
Judging by the average attendance a high degree of interest was maintained throughout the
course, absences being due mainly to illness or departure from Georgetown.
I desire to place on record my appreciation of the valuable and cordial assistance given by
all members of the Department in the preparation and running of the classes, and, in particular by
Mr. Pollard and his laboratory attendant, who were mainly responsible for tne preparation of equip-
ment and chemicals, etc., and of the financial help and other assistance provided by the Combined
Cultural Committee of the Royal Agricultural and Commercial Society, the Union of Cultural Clubs
and the British Council.
The Blowpipe equipment provided by the Combined Cultural Committee is being retained in the
Department for future use if it is decided to repeat the course of lectures and demonstrations.
"The Co-operative Movement at Home and Abroad."
-SPAULL and KAY.
After providing an opportunity for economic self-determination to the British working classes
over the last hundred years, the Co-operative Movement has now taken West Indian Colonies
by storm and may well assume a more important role in the destines of the common man than even
Trade Unionism. We have somewhat passed the first stage of introduction to the movement; people
now need to be apprised of the possibilities of co-operation as a solution to their economic problems.
Invaluable assistance in this direction is given by Spaull and Kay in their book "The Co-operative
Movement at Home and Abroad" which should find a place on the shelves of both student and
general reader. It is a most comprehensive picture of the nature of co-operative effort the world over
and the authors have been essentially practical in their approach to the task which they have
undertaken and so ably executed. Many useful avenues of co-operative activities have been
demonstrated and these have been carefully related to the circumstances and objects which in-
The book is a wealth of experience and besides being an up-to-the-minute record of the achieve-
ments and progress of co-operation; is a simplified aid to the understanding of the true significance
of the Movement.
In most of the countries studied, the authors describe the background social and economic con-
ditions from which co-operation emerged and the labours of the pioneers who called the system
into existence. It implies investigation into the evils of local conditions and the administering of
similar treatment towards their correction.
In their discussion on some sore points of the the economic organisation in various countries of
the Empire, the authors have shown a candour which many colonials would applaud. Attention
has also been directed to the contribution of the co-operatives to Empire trade.
Every chapter of the work is attractively written and is intensely interesting. One cannot help
feeling at some stages that the Co-operative Commonwealth is not far distant.
Readers should not however be lured into believing that these remarkable !results were
achieved for Co-operation without repeated disappointment and even frustration in many places.
No attempt has been made in the book to indicate pitfalls or difficulties of organisation and practice,
or to be technical at all; but the history of the development of the Movement would suggest that
this aspect cannot be too easily desregarded. Perhaps too much has been attempted to render
any serious consideration of problems practicable without appreciably increasing the size of the work.
What the book lacks in balance is compensated for by the wide range of its enquiry. An appeal
is also made for the training of youth and an apprehension of their contribution to the future
of the Movement.
I commend this work as a useful handbook for all persons and groups interested in the prac-
tice of Co-operation.
-CLEMENT R. JARVIS.
BIM -- A Boy in British Guiana."-- by STELLA MEAD
I met Stella Mead when she came to British Guiana in 1945 on behalf of the BELRA, and she
had said then that she would write a book on her trip. She had a reputation as a writer of child-
ren's books and I was one of the studio audience when she talked over Station ZFY, telling children
of her journey by plane from Florida into the Caribbean.
At Mahaica Hbspital, I know she got the patients around a table and among them, they wrote
a play with a little prompting from her. :' .
So I was very much interested to pick up her book named "Bim, a boy in British Guiana",--pub-
lished by the Orion Press at 7/6.
Bim was an East Indian boy around the age of six or seven, and he lived on the bank of the
Essequibo River. Stella Mead describes the animals he found in the forest nearby and tells how
Bim pays a visit to Kaieteur and then lives in the Rupununi for a while before going to school
Then trouble comes to Bim and he has to go to Mahaica Hospital for treatment. The story
tells us of life among children there; most attractively, I thought, and Bim gets better.
Setlla Mead writes sensitively and she manages, by skilfully dwelling on the schools and teach-
ers Bim had, to pack into the story much Guianese history and geography that children abroad may
assimilate. Her scale is right so the reader should not close the book feeling we have a large leprous
population here in B.G., but feeling that there is a sympathetic approach in the Colony to this disease.
Actually this is borne out by the international acclaim recently given Dr. L. H. Wharton for his
fine work in the institution.
Here and there Stella Mead suffers from insufficient knowledge of her subject as where she
infers that East Indians were 2/3 of the total population in 1945, or that we have bush negroes
in the colony who become pork knockers or that mahogany trees are commonly found. I noticed
twice that misconception that British Guiana is three times the size of the British Isles it is not,
it is 83,000 sq. miles whereas England, Scotland and Wales, total 88,000.
But perhaps only a zealous Guianese would see those points and there is so much on the
credit side like the fine references to Dr. F. G. Rose and the major fact that English-reading child-
ren have now a sensitive and sympathetic window on to life in our country.
Fifth Annual Report of the British Guiana Union
of Cultural Clubs, 1947-1948.
At the Annual General Meeting held at the Georgetown Public Free Library on Monday, Feb-
ruary 24, 1947, the following were elected to the Committee of Management for the year ending
February 29, 1948.
President .. .. .. .. E. A. Q. POTTER (Young Men's Guild).
Vice-Presidents .. .. .. E. 0. PILGRIM (New Age Society);
MILDRED MANSFIELD (Children's Dorcas
Hony. Secretary .. .. .. .. A. J. SEYMOUR (B.G. Writers' Association).
Hony. Asst. Secretary .. .. .. BERYL TAYLOR (Central High School Old
Hony. Treasurer .. .. .. .. D. CAMACHO (Catholic Youth Organisation).
Members of Committee .. .. .. N. E. CAMERON (Coffee House Club);
THEOPHILUS LEE (Coffee House Club);
CELESTE DOLPHIN (B.G. Writers'
In November the President sought leave from the Committee in order to proceed abroad in the
interest of his health, and Mr. E. O. Pilgrim was elected to act as President for the remainder of
the Union's year. The President, at the date of this Report, is still on vacation in the U.S.A., and
this Committee desires to pay special tribute to his acute power of analysis of the Union's problems
and. his thorough and patient leadership in planning the activities of the year under review.
Two other members of Committee went on leave during the year Miss C. Dolphin and Mr.
N. E. Cameron. Their places were temporarily filled by Messrs. E. D. Ford and C. W. Jones, respec-
The Committee is grateful to all those co-opted representatives of organizations affiliated to the
Union who gave ready and valuable service in the Committee's deliberations and the planning and
arranging of Union activities.
During the year, the following organizations became affiliated to the Union the Sword of the
Spirit, the African Welfare Convention, the Muslim Youth Organisation, the Literary Section of the
Government Training College for Teachers and Club Promenade. The Excelsior Musical Club
ceased to meet and its name has been removed from the list of member clubs now numbering 40.
In accordance with the Committee's desire to publicize the Union's aims and the activities of
affiliated bodies, member clubs have been requested to forward to the Hony. Secretary short accounts
of their history and achievements for release to the Press and for possible inclusion in Kykoveral,
A number of clubs have taken advantage of this offer and the Committee hopes that in 1948 this
work will be extended.
The 1947 Patrick Dargan Memorial Shield Competition, annually sponsored by the Union began
on Wednesday, April 23, 1947, and concluded on Wednesday, July 16, 1947, after 7 fortnightly debat-
ing fixtures. The entrance fee for this competition was $1.00 and each of the 7 clubs which entered,
debated in teams of three against each other competing club on the points-award system
before three judges.
Subjects for debate were selected by the Committee and comprised such topics as "that a sub-
stantial extension of rail transport facilities will be of greater benefit to British Guiana than a
similar extension of road facilities; that hospitals should be maintained and run by the State; that
Trade Unions are on the whole mischievous in their effect; that the Cinema has a demoralising influ-
ence on the masses."
These debates were held on the same subject at the same time on debating nights at 3 principal
centres, the B.G. Ex-Servicemen's Hall, C.Y.O. Building and the Central High School. One debate
was held at the Y.W.C.A. Hall.
To defray expenses members of the public attending these debates were asked to contribute
by collection which amounted to $6.06.
The Competition was won by the Guianese Academy Old Students' Association (1946 runner-
up) with 11 points out of a possible 12 and the runners-up were Christ Church D.Y.M. and the
Catholic Youth Organisation, 8 points each. Other clubs competing were Central High School Old
Students' Association, B.G. Dramatic Society, Har jon Literary and Social Club and Comenius Youth
The trophy was presented by the President, Mr. E. A. Q. Potter, to the winners on Wednesday,
August 6 at the Carnegie Free Library. An exhibition debate was held and the, winners comprising
Messrs. W. P. Smith, W. O. Garnett and E. N. Dublin (Proposing) defeated a team drawn from
the Rest comprising Messrs. H. L. Duncan, J. O. Ramao and A. S. Burton-Haynes. The proposition
was "That British Guiana's future mainly depends on its agricultural development."
Tne Union is much indebted to the members of the Community who acted as judges, and the
Press for assisting in this completion which the Committee is sure was of great benefit in providing
intellectual exercise for our youth.
OTHER UNION ACTIVITIES. During 1947, the Committee planned a number of Union meetings to
take place, as far as possible, on the last Monday of each month. Briefly enumerated these are as
On March 31, at the Georgetown Public Free Library, representatives from member clubs met
to discuss what constructive suggestions on the University's work the Union might make to Dr.
T. W. J. Taylor, Principal of the West Indian University College, when he should arrive in British
Guiana. This meeting was sparsely attended but arrived at proposals on some of the important
matters fees, quality of the degrees conferred, suggestions for Extra-Mural activity, ratio of women
to men students, etc. These proposals were put to Dr. Taylor when in December, 1947, he met the
Committee in the Georgetown Public Free Library in an informal discussion.
On April 28, the Committee arranged to have the Bishops' High School Old Girls' Guild present
under Union auspices a programme of speeches and discussion on the topic "The Guianese Woman".
The panel of speakers comprised Mesdames Gaskin, Fowler and Morris, and Misses Adele Lewis and
Hilda Devonish; speaking respectively on the Guianese woman as politician, domestic, mother, social
worker and teacher. Mrs. Stafford then summed up. The meeting was presided over by the Vice-
President, Miss Mildred Mansfield.
On May 16, in the B.G. Press Association rooms the Literacy Campaign Organiser, Mr. E. J. Farley,
met the co-opted Committee and gave a talk on the aims of the Campaign; that of achieving func-
tional literacy for the estimated 50,000 illiterates in the Colony and the need for voluntary help by
groups such as those which composed the Union.
On June 2, in the Y.M.C.A. Hall, after the post ponement of a week from the original date May 26,
the Union presented the feature "An Evening with the 17th Century in Europe". The object was to
present the intellectual life of an European century and to examine its legacy to modern times, both
in one evening.
There was a historical summary of the century and lectures were given on musical trends (Mr.
H. V. Taitt); the science of the age (Mr. J. H. Bevis); the century's art (Mr. E. R. Burrowes); the
drama (Mr. D. A. Smith); the great books (Mr. A. J. Seymour). The Georgetown Dramatic Club
sang two choruses Lully's "Lonely Woods" and Purcell's. "Nymphs and Shepherd", Miss Joyce
Fung played Scarlatti's "Sonata in F. Major", and there was incidental music provided by grama-
phone recordings lent by the British Council. The Council also lent its epidiascope to illustrate the
talk on art and on the books. A short summary of the century by Miss Margaret Lee brought the
meeting to a close.
On June 30, at the Free Library an "Impromptu Discussion" was held on the two topics "what
advantages will accrue to British Guiana in a West Indian Federation of the British West Indies" and
"That there is too much waste of time and money in so-called society life".
These topics were chosen by the meeting and then discussed impromptu by a group comprising
the President, Mrs. D. J. Taitt, Miss Margaret Lee,, Mr. W. P. Smith and Mr. R. G. Sharpies.
On August 11, at the Y.M.C.A., a packed audience of Union members and friends heard a
specially arranged lecture by Rev. Dr. W. O. Ca rrington, a Guianese, returned home after 45 years
abroad. Dr. Carrington spoke on the "Aims and obligations of Culture", and stressed the value of
the Union's work among culturally under-privileged sections of the community.
On August 26, 28 and 30, the Union held its Annual Convention at which every member of
every member club had the right to be present. A full account of this Fourth Annual Convention
is given later in the body of this report.
In September, the Committee took advantage of the short stay in British Guiana of Rev Dr.
J. M. Hohlfeld. member of the World Literacy Committee and on September 11 at the Y.M.C.A., Dr.
Hohlfeld delivered an address to the Union on "Sounds and Symbols", a topic dealing with recent
linguistic trends and with the Literacy campaign work then being launched at Pin. Ogle.
On October 29, in the African Welfare Convention Hall, the Committee arranged for the Union
meeting to be devoted to the aims and activities of three of the Union's clubs, the African Welfare
Convention, the B. G. Photographic Society and the B. G. Lithographic Life Club. This was the
first of the "co-operation and better acquaintance" programme of meetings which the Fourth
Annual Convention had urged upon the Committee and the speakers spoke first on the aims of
their respective groups and proceeded to outline what the clubs did in their normal meetings. The
speakers were Mr. S. D. Morrison, President of the African Welfare Convention, Mr. C. P. de Freitas,
President of the Photographic Society and Mr. I. C. Stewart, one of the founders of the Litho Life
In the November feature, the following eight clubs co-operated Government Training College
Literary Section, the Christ Church Youth Movement, the Kitty Women's Institute, the Comenius
Youth Movement, the African Welfare Convention, the Children's Dorcas Club, the Central High School
Old Students' Association and the New Age Socie ty.
Each of these organizations was asked to (1) give the name of one representative who would
address another club at one of its regular meetings for 15 minutes on the Union's aims and those of
his or her owh club and (2) permit a speaker from some other club to come and speak for 15
minutes at one of its regular club meetings during November.
The purpose of this feature was to arouse more interest in the Union by having Union
addresses delivered to the clubs and by asking each club to share in that work.
The Committee hopes that another group of clubs would be willing to co-operate in a similar
way in 1948.
On January 26, 1948 at the Y.M.C.A., the Union presented "The Eighteenth Century in Europe" to a
very full audience.
The Committee sought the assistance of pers ons who might be considered experts in their par-
ticular fields. Mrs. Eleanor Kerry prepared the section on the music of the century and illustrated
it on the piano with the assistance of Miss Lynette Dolphin. Mr. R. G. Sharples spoke on the cen-
tury's paintings and painters, Miss Margaret Lee on literature, Archdeacon Pattison-Muir prepared
the section on religion while Capt. Nobbs looked over the paper on the century's Science. Sum-
maries were also prepared on the history of the period, the women of the century and on the great
books published in Europe at that time.
The British Council was good enough as to loan the Union an epidiascope and 18th century
musical recordings for use during the evening.
THE FOURTH ANNUAL CONVENTION
The Fourth Annual Convention of the Union took place over three days August 26 and 28
in the Town Hall, Georgetown and August 30 at the Bishops' High School.
Convention week opened on August 24 with a 15-minute broadcast by the President over Station
Z.F.Y. on the B.P.I. Sunday-at-noon programme (by kind courtesy of the Publicity Officer). Mr.
Potter spoke on the aims of the Union and the very wide scope of its possible activities in the
That Sunday evening at 7.30 British Guiana time, the B.B.C. broadcast to British Guiana and
the Caribbean a message for the Convention from Harold Stannard of the Times. Mr. Stannard's
broadcast dealt principally with the relation be tween education in the area and the federal idea
and stressed the importance of the proposed West Indian University to small groups of persons with
intellectual curiosity scattered over the Caribbean.
On Tuesday, August 26 at 8.30 p.m. the public session took place in the Town Hall, George-
town. The President was in the chair and in addition to the Presidential address, there were talks
by the President of the Royal Agricultural and Commercial Society, Captain G. H. Smellie, the
British Council Representative, Mr. H. Risely Tucker, and Mr. Justice J. A. Luckhoo, British Guiana
representative on the Provisional Council of the West Indian University College. Captain Smellie
spoke on Economics and Culture, Mr. Tucker on the Union's relation to the British Council, and
Mr. Luckhoo on the Extra-Mural work being planned by the West Indian University.
During the addresses, there was a break in the proceedings to allow the Town Hall audience
to listen, by means of a community reception service, to messages being broadcast at that time over
Station Z.F.Y. These messages were recorded in Washington, D.C., and Trinidad, respectively by
Dr. Eric Williams, distinguished West Inidan economist and historian and by Mr. F. G. Maynard, Presi-
dent of the Trinidad and Tobago League of Literary and Cultural Clubs. At the same time, the
opportunity was taken of re-broadcasting a recording taken in British Guiana of Harold Stannard's
During the session, Elma Phillips played two pianoforte pieces and Charles Knights a clarinet
On Thursday, August 28, also in the Town Hall, the Union presented to the public an Evening
of Music and Drama. Items were rendered by the B.G. Philharmonic Orchestra, the Maranatha
Quartette and the Dawson Music Lovers' Club Singers, and Miss Rajkumari Singh sang two Indian
songs. The Georgetown Dramatic Club presented a scene from Moliere's famous comedy "The
Tradesman turned Gentleman" and the B.G. Dramatic Society performed three scenes from Tagore's
The evening came to a close with the singing of Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus" by an ensemble
selected from the B.G. Philharmonic Choir, the Dawsons, the Maranatha and the B.G. Philharmonic
Orchestra conducted by Mr. Vincent de Abreu.
The final session of the Convention was held on Saturday, August 30, at the Bishop's High School
ground. Tea was served at 4.30 p.m. to groups seated on the school lawns and the groups then dis-
cussed and passed the following resolutions.
That in each year the Committee of Management arrange for one or more functions with the
assistance of all member clubs in order to provide funds for the general use of the Union.
That this Convention urge upon the Committee of Management the need of making better
known, one to the other, the activities of various clubs, by means of monthly meetings
The Committee expresses itself as being considerably heartened by the full attendance at each
session of the Convention and the ready support given by member clubs.
Co-operation with the Royal Agricultural and Commercial Society and the British Council
The Committee desires to record that 1947 witnessed the continuance of cordial relationships
with the British Council and the R.A. & C. Society. The Union was represented on the Com-
bined Cultural Committee by Miss Mansfield, Mr. Cameron and the Secretary until August when
on Mr. Cameron's going on leave, his place on the Committee was taken by Mr. E. O. Pilgrim.
The December, 1947 issue of the magazine Kykoveral published notes on the Union's work
in 1947 and also selections from the addresses delivered at the public session of the Fourth Annual
Kykoveral is dedicated to the building of a Guianese tradition and to lifting the intellectual
life of the community to higher levels, and member organizations are reminded that it may provide
an outlet and permanent record for many of the excellent addresses delivered on special occasions,
and serve as a calendar of future club activities as well as a record of their achievements.
The Committee has set to work on the Resolutions passed at the Convention and in a previous
section of this report, mention has been made of the better acquaintanceship programme initiated
during the latter part of 1947. A sub-committee was appointed to deal with the finances of the Union
and recommended to the Committee of Management that a Union fair should be arranged early
with the aim of realising money for the Union's working. Planning had not yet been completed
at the date of this meeting.
The outgoing Committee is grateful t( all those bodies and individuals who assisted the Union
during 1947, especially the Librarian of the Georgetown Public Free Library, the British Council
Representative, the Public Information Officer, the Editors of the daily newspapers, the B.G. Press
Association, the management of Station ZFY, the Directors of the Y.M.C.A. and the many well
wishers of the Union who acted as judges at the Patrick Dargan Memorial Shield debates.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR.
At the present time particularly, it is most encouraging for us over here in the Old World to see
the lightening of the West Indian sky in the New World through the articles and poems in your
I am particularly interested in your statement at the bottom of the first page of your Editorial
that "our problem is at bottom one of spirit." It is precisely the same over here, and it is for that
reason good to know that we are both working for the same cause the spirit of man.
London, March, 1948.
I have been through "Kyk-Over-Al", and found it extremely interesting to dip into a cultural
pattern so like yet so unlike my own. There is an earnestness about it, and a simplicity and a
faint aura of something else I can't quite define a "step-child in the chimney-corner" feeling as
though some of the writings weren't quite sure of being read. I can't put it into words-maybe it's
the habitual aura of a colony. I don't know.
"Art in the West Indies" was very interesting. The author emphasizes, as others have done be-
fore her, that "all art is of the people" a lesson every true aspirant must learn. It is only through
identification with every aspect of his surroundings that he can interpret life in art, and by a blend-
ing of both achieve perfection or as close to it as any artist will admit himself to have come. To
the genuine-artist, perfection is always just beyond reach.
Why are there so many religious references in the magazine? Are the Guianese particularly
religious? What religion predominates? Or is it that it is chiefly the clerically inclined who a)
turn to writing; b) get themselves printed.
New York, March, 1948.
With restless living force Reverence for Life
works upon the mind into which it has entered,
and throws it into the unrest of a feeling of respon-
sibility which at no place and at no time ceases
to affect it.
(Civilization and Ethics, 1923).
The deepest definition of Youth is, life as
yet untouched by tragedy. And the finest flower
of youth is to know the lesson in advance of the
A. N. WHITEHEAD,
(Adventures of Ideas, 1933).
Perhaps, even, human beauty in its effect
upon the feelings, is nothing at all but the magic
of sex, sex itself becomes visible.
(Young Joseph, 1935).
Let no act be done without a purpose, nor
otherwise than according to the perfect princi-
ples of art.
(The Meditations 2nd Century, A.D.).
This poetry is not to be taken seriously, as
though it were a solemn performance which had
to do with truth, but he who hears it is to keep
watch on it, fearful for the city in his soul.
(The Republic 4th Century, B.C.).
To find the right road out of this despair,
civilized man must enlarge his heart as he has
enlarged his mind. He must learn to transcend
self and in so doing, to acquire the freedom of
(The Conquest of Happiness, 1930).
In order to arrive at what you do not know,
You must go by a way which is the way of
In order to possess what you do not possess,
You must go by the way of dispossession.
T. S. ELIOT,
(The Four Quartets, 1945)
All our dignity consists, then, in thought.
By it we must elevate ourselves, and not by space
and time which we cannot fill. Let us endeavour
then, to think well; this is the principle of moral-
- PASCAL (Pensees, 1670).
The order of the world is no accident. The
Universe exhibits a creativity with infinite free-
dom, and a realm of forms with infinite possi-
A. N. WHITEHEAD.
(Religion in the Making, 1926).
Right, as the world goes, is only in question
between equals in power, while the strong do what
they can and the weak suffer what they must.
(The Melian Debate 5th Century, B.C.).
We must work on the environment, not merely
on the hearts of men. To think otherwise is to
suppose that flowers can be raised in a desert
or motor-cars run in a jungle.
(Human Nature and Conduct, 1922).
Those who seek education in the paths of duty
are always deceived by the illusion that power
in the hands of friends is an advantage to them.
(The Education of Henry Adams, 1907).
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